Kikuyu in 2009
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Kikuyu is a town in Kiambu County, Kenya, which grew from a settlement of colonial missionaries. The town is located about 20 km (12 mi) northwest of central Nairobi. It is about 20 minutes from Nairobi via a number of routes, including a dual carriage road, and has a railway station on the Mombasa – Malaba Railway Line. The town is named after the Kĩkũyũ people, the major ethnicity that settled in the area. As of 2009 the total population is 233,231. Due to its geology and rich soil texture, the chief activities are livestock and crop farming. With the recent completion of the Southern Bypass that connects Mombasa to Nairobi via Kikuyu, the town is poised for greater growth as is the only town on the Bypass. Kikuyu hosts a Sub-County Administration which is the administrative division in Kiambu County.
The town has some British colonial history links, like the Right Reverend Musa Gitau (Swahili for Moses Gitau), an African believer in democracy who led among the first Christian faithful during colonial times. He lived and worked in the town as a reverend and in his honour two schools were named after him.
Institutions within Kikuyu
Some of the major institutions in Kikuyu are;
1. Research Institutions
Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), and Kenya Trypnomiasis Research Institute (KETRI)
2. Academic Institutions
University of Nairobi – Kikuyu Campus which hosts the College of Education and External Studies. It also hosts the Presbyterian University of Eastern Africa (PUEA), Thogoto Teachers Training College, Kikuyu Commercial College, Vantage Teachers College and Kismart College among others.
Kikuyu is home to two National High Schools; Alliance High School and Alliance Girls High School. It also has several day and boarding schools including Rungiri Secondary School, Uthiru Girls High School, Kikuyu Day Secondary School, Muhu Secondary School, Gichuru Memorial School, Musa Gitau Secondary School, Karai Day Secondary School, Kirangari High School, Moi Girls Kamangu ,Green Garden Girls High School, Muguga High school,Star Sheikh Academies, Mary Leakey Girls School and Kevin Carey High School .
Primary schools include Kikuyu Township Primary School, The Green Garden Schools, Jeverden Highlands Academy, St. Veronica I.L.C, Kidfarmaco Primary School, Musa Gitau Primary School, Uthiru Genesis School, Muthiga Academy, Damacrest Schools, Fairlawns Primary School, Utafiti Primary School,Kandeng'wa Primary School,Kid Zone School, Valley Crest Academy, Njumbi Primary School, Gicharani Primary School, Thogoto Primary School, Wambaa Primary School, Kanyiha Primary School , Magutuini Primary School,Thirime Primary School , Mai ai hii Primary School, Gikambura Primary School, Gacio School and Shalom Academy .
There are several historical sites within the town, such as the caves dug by Indian coollies when constructing the Kenya-Uganda railway. These caves are found just below the town under the railway facing Magana farm. Other sites include the graves of two explorers who were killed by lions in the 19th century at Kanyariri, a few meters from where Fort Smith was situated; the Undiri swamp, and the PCEA Church of the Torch, the first building at Thogoto.
Transport to the capital and other places is available in form of matatus, minibuses and trains. It is also conveniently served through most Taxi – Cab services with rates averaging Kshs 1800 – 2500 (as of Jan 2016). Many institutions have developed in this town, including a major eye unit hospital, a Christian university, and many primary and secondary schools. Recreational facilities and accommodations include Sigona Golf Club, the Wida Highway Motel, Kari Holiday Retreat Center, and the PCEA Lay Training Center. It has developed into an industrial town that boasts many factories that range from the metallic to the medical sector.
- Kabete, a town in the Kikuyu division
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-23.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)