Meru County

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Meru County
Lake Michaelson is in the background
Lake Michaelson is in the background
Flag of Meru County
Coat of arms of Meru County
Coat of arms
Location of Meru County in Kenya
Location of Meru County in Kenya
Coordinates: 0°3′N 37°38′E / 0.050°N 37.633°E / 0.050; 37.633Coordinates: 0°3′N 37°38′E / 0.050°N 37.633°E / 0.050; 37.633
Country  Kenya
Formed March 4, 2013
Capital and largest town Meru
 • Governor Kiraitu Murungi
 • Total 6,936 km2 (2,678 sq mi)
Population (2009)[1]
 • Total 1,356,301
 • Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Meru County is one of the 47 counties of Kenya, located in the former Eastern Province. It has a population of 1.4 million people.

Meru County is the home of the Ngaa People (Meru), who are related to other ethnicities living around the Mount Kenya region: the Kikuyu, Embu people and to some extent the Kamba people, who all share a common origin from Israel. Also, peoples from the east coast of Kenya, along the Indian Ocean, like the Bajuni, Swahili, Mijikenda, and further inland, the Taita, Taveta and westwards to the Lake Victoria coast, the Kisii and Maragoli as well as other Luhya people, are all related to the Meru.

The Meru have long been considered by Western 'experts' to be Bantu, although there is much to show that this is an exceedingly simplistic view which bears little resemblance to reality. The predominant oral tradition concerning the Meru's early history is a fantastic fable that seems to combine elements of both truth and fiction. In brief, it recounts that the Meru were once enslaved by the "Red People." They eventually escaped, and in their exodus, came across a large body of water called Mbwaa or Mbwa, which they crossed by magical means. The details of the tradition are replete with parallels to the Old Testament, for example, the story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of Ancient Egypt, and also contain references to events described in the New Testament. This has led many to speculate that the Meru are perhaps the descendants of one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, meaning that they were at some point Hebrews, or had been in profound cultural contact with a people that certainly were (such as the Falashim of Ethiopia).

The county headquarters is in the town of Meru. The current governor of Meru County is Hon. Kiraitu Murungi of Jubilee Party.


In 1992, the former Meru District was split into Meru Central District, Meru North District, Meru South District, and Tharaka District. In 1998, Tharaka District was again split into Nithi District and Tharaka District. A Supreme Court decision in September 2009 ruled that the split had been unconstitutional, and the first two of these were re-amalgamated into Meru District, which became Meru County in 2010. The same ruling amalgamated Meru South, Tharaka and Nithi districts into Tharaka-Nithi District, which became Tharaka-Nithi County in 2010.

Electoral constituencies[edit]

Villages and settlements[edit]


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