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Sunset at Tsavo East National Park mostly located in Kitui County
Location in Kenya
|Formed||March 4th 2013|
|• Governor||Julius Makau Malombe|
|• Total||24,385.1 km2 (9,415.1 sq mi)|
|• Total||1,012,709 |
|Time zone||EAT (UTC+3)|
Kitui County is a county in the former Eastern Province of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Kitui, although Mwingi is also another major urban centre. The county has a population of 1,012,709 (2009 census. and an area of 24,385.1 km².
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Government
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Education
- 6 Health
- 7 Economy
- 8 Tourism
- 9 Religion and traditional culture
- 10 Famous people
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The name Kitui means ‘a place where iron goods are made’. The Kamba iron-smiths who settled in the county many years before the colonial period are the ones who named the area Kitui.
Kitui County shares its borders with seven counties; Tharaka and Meru to the north, Embu to the northwest, Machakos and Makueni to the west, Tana River to the east and southeast, and Taita Taveta to the south.
Kitui County has Eight Sub-Counties which are: Kitui West Sub-County. Kitui Central Sub-County. Kitui Rural Sub-County. Kitui South Sub-County. Kitui East Sub-County. Mwingi North Sub-County. Mwingi West Sub-County. Mwingi Central Sub-County.
Further, the sub-counties are divided into smaller units called wards. There are 40 wards which are further divided into 247 villages.
The climate is semi-arid; it receives roughly 71 cm (28 inches). A significant point however is that rainfall occurs practically only during the rainy seasons (one long around March & April, and one short, around October,November and December).The terms Long and Short Rains has nothing to do with amount of rainfall received bur rather on the length of the rainy seasons.
The Kitui County Government is divided into two arms. The legislative (County Assembly) and the Executive.
This is The County Assembly composed of 40 elected and 16 nominated Members of County Assembly( MCAs). The Assembly is headed by The Speaker. The current speaker is Hon. George M. Ndotto.
The executive arm of County Government of Kitui is Composed of a cabinet. The Cabinet has ten Members of County Executive Committee (MCEC) with each MCEC heading a ministry. The Executive Committee is chaired by The Governor.
The population is mostly made up of people of the Akamba ethnicity. Tharaka people, a section of the Ameru, are also found in Kitui County mainly in Tharaka ward. There is also a growing Somali presence.
Urbanisation in South Eastern Kenya (Percent)
Urbanisation by County in South Eastern Kenya
Kitui High School and Muthale Girls are the only national schools in Kitui County. Other major secondary schools are St. Charles Lwanga Secondary School, Kisasi Boys' Secondary School, Matinyani Boys' Secondary, Mutonguni Secondary School, St. Luke's Yatta Boys' Secondary School, Mutito Boys' Secondary School and Mwingi Boys' Secondary School. Major girls' schools include Mulango Girls' High School, St. Angela's High School,Mbitini Girls' Secondary School, Chuluni Girls' Secondary School, Mutito Girls' Secondary School and Mutomo Girls' Secodary School. Other notable secondary schools are St.Ursula Girls-Tungutu, St. Aquinas Kyangwithya Boys, Nzambani Boys, Maliku Girls, Thitani Girls, Zombe Girls, Migwani Boys, Katheka Boys and St. Lawrence Kaluva Secondary School.
Kathungi Secondary School, which is also found in Kitui County, is famous for its football championship in the country. Kathungi were the 2013 national silver medalists. Alongside the national champions Upper Hill, they represented Kenya in East Africa Secondary School games held in Lira, Uganda.
South Eastern Kenya University is a public university located in Kitui with the Main Campus at Kwa Vonza and other campuses at Mwingi and Kitui towns. Kenyatta University has a campus at Kwa Vonza while Moi University has a campus at Kyuso in Mwingi North sub-county. University of Nairobi also has a campus in Kitui town. Kenya Medical Training College has campuses in Kitui and Mwingi.
Statistics for the County (Percent)
|Attending School (15-18 Yrs)||
Statistics for the County
Source: USAid Kenya
Kitui County has several hospitals and health centres to meet the health needs of residents, among them Kitui County Referral Hospital, Mwingi General Hospital, Kitui Nursing Home, Neema Hospital, Jordan Hospital, mission-run hospitals such as Muthale Mission hospital and some private health centres.
The vast majority of the economy is based on sustenance farming, despite the fact that the agriculture is an extremely challenging endeavor giving the sporadic rainfall. A logical move therefore would be a transition to non-agricultural industries.
During a recent, informal survey of the businesses in the town of Ikutha in southern Kitui County, the following businesses were identified:
- Food Staples (rice, corn meal)
- Mini-markets (sells things like Coca-cola, potatoes chips, bread, long-shelf milk)
- Hotels and restaurants
Situated in Kitui town is a cotton ginnery where cotton farmers from around the county can deliver their harvest. It is the only major industry in the region, and was set up way back in 1935. Kitui is a semi-arid region and not many crops fare well there apart from cotton, hence the ginnery plays a major role creating income for the many cotton farmers in the region.
Kitui county has large deposits of coal and limestone in Mui Basin and Mutomo/Ikutha respectively.
Poverty Level in South Eastern Kenya (Percent)
Poverty level by County
- Tsavo East National Park
- South Kitui National Reserve
- Mwingi National Reserve
- Ikoo Valley
- Ngomeni Rock Catchment.
Also in Kitui county is one of the largest Rock outcrops in Kenya which is locally known as "Ivia ya Nzambani". Situated past Kitui Town, about 1 km from Chuluni Market is The Nzambani Rock which is famous for the tales and myths of its origin. Activities here include hiking and rock climbing.
Religion and traditional culture
Christianity is the dominant religion in in Kitui County. Roman Catholics make about 15% of the county’s population. Other Christian denominations in the county include the African Inland Church (AIC), Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA), Independent Presbyterian Church (IPC), Redeemed Gospel Church and many others. Kitui county has a significant number of Muslims and several mosques can be spotted around the county’s major urban centres. Few people in the county still hold on to traditional beliefs. They believe in a god called Mulungu or Ngai - the creator of everything on Earth.
- Willy Mutunga
- Kalonzo Musyoka
- Makau W. Mutua
- Charity Ngilu
- David Musila
- Nzamba Kitonga
- Kiema Kilonzo
- Eric Mutua
- Onesmus K. Mutungi
- Ngala Mwendwa
- Nyiva Mwendwa
- Kitili Maluki Mwendwa
- Benson Masya
- Benjamin Nzimbi
- Prof. Paul Musili Wambua
- Machakos County
- Makueni County
- Tana River County
- Taita Taveta County
- Embu County
- Meru County
- Tharaka Nithi County
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kitui County.|