Lamu County

Coordinates: 2°18′0″S 40°42′0″E / 2.30000°S 40.70000°E / -2.30000; 40.70000
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Lamu County
Lamu, Lamu Island
Lamu, Lamu Island
Flag of Lamu County
Location in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Country Kenya
Formed4 March 2013
 • GovernorIssa Timamy
 • Total6,273.1 km2 (2,422.1 sq mi)
 • Land6,273.1 km2 (2,422.1 sq mi)
110 m (360 ft)
 • Total143,920
 • Density23/km2 (59/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

Lamu County is a county in Kenya located along the North Coast[1] of the country and is one of the six Coastal Counties[2] in Kenya. Its capital is the town of Lamu. It borders Tana River County to the southwest, Garissa County to the north, Somalia to the northeast, and the Indian Ocean to the South.

The county has a land surface of 6,273.1 km2 (2,422.1 sq mi), including the mainland[3] and over 65 islands that form the Lamu Archipelago. The total length of the coastline[4] is 130 km (81 mi), while the land water mass[5] area stands at 308 km2 (119 sq mi).[6] As of the 2019 census, Lamu County had a population of 143,920, making it the least populated county in Kenya.[7]


The county is made of a cosmopolitan population composed of communities such as Aweer, Oromo,Somalis, Swahilis, Arabs, Kore, Kikuyu, and other migrant communities from the rest of the country. The county has a total population of 143,920 of which 76,103 are males 67,813 females and 4 intersex persons. There are 37,963 households with an average household size of 3.7 persons per household and a population density of 23 people per square kilometre.[8]

The LAPSSET project is expected to attract a huge migrant population estimated to be over one million. This will certainly overstretch the county's social services necessitating commensurate development planning for adequate service provision.[9]

Historical population
1979 42,299—    
1989 56,783+34.2%
1999 72,686+28.0%
2009 101,539+39.7%
2019 143,920+41.7%


  Christian (47%)
  Muslim (51%)
  Other Religions (1%)
  Atheist (1%)

Religion in Lamu County[11]

Administrative and political units[edit]

Administrative units[edit]

The county has 2 constituencies: Lamu West and Lamu East. These two also consist of the two districts referred to as the sub-counties in Lamu County.[12] Lamu West has Amu Mkomani, Shela, Hindi, Mkunumbi, Hongwe, Bahari and Witu Divisions while Lamu East has Faza, Basuba and Kiunga Divisions. There are 10 wards, 23 locations, and 38 sub-locations in the county.[13]

Administrative divisions
Division Population* Urban pop.* Headquarters
Amu 17,310 12,839 Lamu
Faza 7,474 0 Faza
Hindi 7,072 1,335
Kiunga 3,310 0 Kiunga
Kizingitini 6,010 0 Kizingitini
Mpeketoni 25,530 773 Mpeketoni
Witu 5,980 1,322 Witu
Total 72,686 16,269 -
* 1999 census. Sources[14][15]

Political units[edit]

There are two constituencies and ten county assembly wards.

Constituency County wards Land Area (km2)
LAMU WEST Shella 54.7
Mkomani 172.5
Hindi 1150.8
Mkunumbi 1366.1
Hongwe 128.5
Bahari 123.3
Witu 975.4
LAMU EAST Faza 79.2
Basuba 1708.7
Kiunga 513.9
TOTAL 6273.1
Source: Lamu County CIDP 2013-2017[16]


Political leadership[edit]

H.E. Issa Abdalla Timamy is the current Governor and is deputized by H.E. Raphael Munyua. H.E. Yasin Twaha was the second Governor and was deputized by H.E. Aboud Bwana Abdulhakim[22][23] First elected governor for the county was Issa Timamy and was deputized by H.E. Eric Kinyua Mugo. Anuar Loitiptip was the second elected senator after Abu Chiaba.The current Senator is Hon. Joseph Githuka[24][25] The current Women Representative is Monica Mūthoni Marubu. Ruweida Mohamed Obo was the women representative and was elected in 2017, before her was Shakila Abdalla who was elected in 2013.[26][27]

For Lamu County,[28] the County Executive Committee comprises:

County Executive Committee
The Governor 1
The Deputy Governor 1
The County Secretary 1
The CEC Members 10
Total 13


Lamu has 203 ECD centers, 139 primary schools and 25 secondary schools. There are also 58 adult training institutions, 6 vocational training centers as well as 3 universities.[29]


There are a total of 45 health facilities in the county, as well as one county referral hospital. The county has 316 health personnel of different cadre.[30]

HIV prevalence is at 3.5%, compared to the national 5.9%.[31]

Transport and communication[edit]

The county is covered by 923.07 km of road network. Of this, 718.66 km is covered by earth surface, 198.41 km is murram surface and 6 km is covered by bitumen.[when?][32][33]

There are five Post Offices with 1,250 installed letter boxes, 653 rented letter boxes and 597 vacant letter boxes.[34][35]

Trade and commerce[edit]

The main economic activities in the county include crop production, livestock production, fisheries, tourism and mining, most notably quarrying. Lamu is rich in minerals like titanium, salt, limestone, coral stones,[36] and sand. Lamu town is termed as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa” but neighboring islands also have numerous archaeological remnants of history dating as far back as the 14th Century.

Among the challenges facing Lamu is population growth owing to migration into Lamu from other parts of the country, fueled partly by the anticipated opportunities accruing from the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor. Other challenges include landlessness and poor land management, insufficient social services such as healthcare and education, inadequate supply of piped and fresh water, under-developed infrastructure, and food insecurity.

There are 9 trading centers, 606 registered businesses, 465 licensed retail traders, 7 supermarkets, 27 licensed wholesale traders, and 98 registered hotels.[34]

The county has two National reserves: Dodori, and Kiunga Marine,[37] covering 877 km2. Dodori is a breeding ground for the East Lamu Topi, and consists of a variety of mammals and birdlife including lions, elephant shrew, hippo, pelicans, and many more. It has the most varied species of mangrove forest in Kenya at Dodori Creek. Kiunga Marine Reserve consists of several islands rich with biodiversity including valuable coral reefs, sea grass, extensive mangrove forests, and the endangered sea turtles and dugongs. Kiwayu Island,[38] which is part of the reserve, is deemed as having the most pristine beach in Kenya.

Villages and settlements[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Karibu Kenya | North Coast". Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Coast Region | County Trak Kenya". Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  3. ^ "Mainland", Wikipedia, 22 November 2022, retrieved 24 January 2023
  4. ^ "Coast", Wikipedia, 3 January 2023, retrieved 24 January 2023
  5. ^ "Water mass", Wikipedia, 30 May 2022, retrieved 24 January 2023
  6. ^ Lamu County Integrated Development Plan CIDP 2018-2022. Lamu County Government. 2018. p. 1.
  7. ^ "Kenya", Wikipedia, 19 January 2023, retrieved 24 January 2023
  8. ^ 2019 Kenya Population and House Census: Volume 1- Population by County and Sub-county. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. 2019. pp. 17, 19, 20. ISBN 9789966102096.
  9. ^ "Brief on LAPSSET Corridor Project 2016" (PDF). LAPSSET Corridor Development Authority. 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  10. ^ KENYA: Administrative Division population statistics
  11. ^ "2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume IV: Distribution of Population by Socio-Economic Characteristics" (PDF). Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  12. ^ "eLimu | Counties in Kenya". Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government". Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  14. ^ [1] Archived 16 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Urban Poverty All Kenya Provinces". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Lamu County CIDP 2013-2017" (PDF). The Council of Governors. Lamu County Government. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  17. ^ "Hon. Muthama, Stanley Muiruri | The Kenyan Parliament Website". Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Stanley Muiruri Muthama". Mzalendo. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Hon. Ruweida Mohammed Obo | The Kenyan Parliament Website". Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Shariff Athman Ali". Mzalendo. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  21. ^ "The Report of the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission (IIBRC): Delimitation of Constituencies and Recommendations on Local Authority Electoral Units and Administrative Boundaries for Districts and Other Units" (PDF). IEBC. 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Governors & Deputy Governors". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Yasin Fahim Twaha". Mzalendo. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Members of the Senate | The Kenyan Parliament Website". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Anwar Loitiptip". Mzalendo. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Women Representatives | KEWOPA KENYA". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Ruweida Mohamed Obo". Mzalendo. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  28. ^ "179. County executive committees – Kenya Law Reform Commission (KLRC)". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  29. ^ Lamu County Integrated Development Plan CIDP 2018-2022. Lamu County Government. 2018. pp. 37–42.
  30. ^ "CoG Reports". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Kenya HIV Estimates Report 2018" (PDF). National AIDS Control Council. 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  32. ^ County Statistical Abstract Lamu County 2015. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. 2015. p. 33.
  33. ^ "Kenya Rural Roads Authority". Kenya Rural Roads Authority. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  34. ^ a b "Publications". Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Home". Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  36. ^ "Coral stone – Century Stone". 4 June 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  37. ^ "Kiunga Marine National Reserve | Kenya Marine Safaris | Kenya Tours". Lake Nakuru National Park. 17 November 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  38. ^ "Kiwayu Island". Seacology. Retrieved 24 October 2022.

External links[edit]

2°18′0″S 40°42′0″E / 2.30000°S 40.70000°E / -2.30000; 40.70000