From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Zetech University, Ruiru
Zetech University, Ruiru
Ruiru is located in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 01°10′04″S 36°58′24″E / 1.16778°S 36.97333°E / -1.16778; 36.97333Coordinates: 01°10′04″S 36°58′24″E / 1.16778°S 36.97333°E / -1.16778; 36.97333
Country Kenya
CountyKiambu County
 • Land292 km2 (113 sq mi)
1,565 m (5,135 ft)
 • Total490,120
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code(s)52

Ruiru is a town in the Kiambu County in Kenya. It sits within the greater Nairobi Metropolitan region. According to the 2019 national population census, Ruiru is the 6th largest urban center in Kenya.[1] The name Ruiru is of the Kikuyu dialect and possibly relates to the black cotton soil that is found in most parts of Ruiru to the East and South.[2]


Ruiru is located about 20 kilometres (12 mi), by road, northeast of the central business district of Nairobi, the nation's capital city.[3] The town measures 292 km2 (113 sq mi) and is connected to Nairobi by both road and rail.[1][4] The geographical co-ordinates of Ruiru are: 1°10'04.0"S, 36°58'24.0"E (Latitude: −1.167778; Longitude: 36.973333).[5] The town sits at an average elevation of 1,565 metres (5,135 ft), above sea level.[6]


This area was a sisal and coffee growing district with sisal on either side of the river to the right of the main road to Thika. As can be seen it is now a housing area. There used to be four main manager houses on the estate on the South side of the river. The area was given over to an African consortium to be developed into small holdings in the 1970s.[7]

Prior to Kenya's independence, Ruiru was administered under the Nairobi City Council and was referred to as The Western Rural District.[8] After independence, the area was put under the administration of the Kiambu County Council before being elevated to a town council in 1986. In 1997, Ruiru was upgraded to municipality status comprising nine elective wards namely Biashara, Gitothua, Gatongora, Kahawa Sukari, Githurai Kimbo, Jacaranda, Theta, Viwanda, and Murera.[8]

In 2010, under the new constitution of Kenya, the area was put under the Kiambu County administration as a sub-county with new elective wards namely Biashara, Gitothua, Gatongora, Kahawa Sukari, Kahawa Wendani, Mwiki, Mwihoko, and Kiuu.

The creation of the Nairobi Metropolitan Region (NMR) by an Executive Order in May 2008 put the town under its wider urban integrated plan.[9]

Infrastructure Projects[edit]

Ruiru is home to major government and private infrastructure developments among them Tatu City, a 5,000 acre mixed-use project.[10][11][12] The proposed Northlands City project[13][14] is also found in this area.


In 2009, Ruiru's population was enumerated at 238,858 residents.[15] Ten years later, the 2019 national census enumerated the population of the town at 490,120.[1]

The rapid population growth is attributable to several factors. One factor, is the shortage of affordable residential housing in Nairobi. Another factor being the infrastructure development especially Thika Road and Nairobi Eastern Bypass Highway. as well as the associated commercial and residential development that followed the new highways. A third factor is the presence of university campuses in or near Ruiru.[1]

Historical population


Two universities have their main campuses in Ruiru namely Zetech University and Kiriri Women's University of Science and Technology, the Kenyatta University (Main and Ruiru Campuses) are also found within the vicinity of the municipality. The University of Nairobi and other institutions of higher education have campuses in or near Ruiru.[1]


The expansive Ruiru urban sprawl comprises many neighborhoods including Ruiru CBD, Tatu City, Kahawa, Githurai, Mwihoko, Membley, Kamakis, Varsity Ville among others.


East African Power & Lighting building in Ruiru on the Nairobi-Thika highway, taken in about 1960

Ruiru is also an industrial town with several major factories, including Devki Steel Mills, Super Foam Limited, Spinners & Spinners Garment Factory Ruiru mabati Factory and Ruiru Feeds Limited. The town is well served by banks and shopping malls and currently[when?] is enjoying a housing boom, as many coffee estates are converted into residential areas, including an upcoming multi-billion Tatu Estate. Information and communication technology businesses are also emerging, including SmartEdge PASHA Center, a digital village where the community can buy computers and find free computer training.[1]


Hon Esther Gathogo was Member of Parliament from 2013 to 2017. Hon. Simon Ng'ang'a King'ara became the area's Member of Parliament after winning the August 2017 general elections.[17]


  1. ^ a b c d e f James Kahongeh (4 March 2020). "Why Ruiru is Kenya's sixth most populated urban area". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Nairobi geological map with geotechnical sites, distress (D) sites and VES (V) sites" – via ResearchGate.
  3. ^ "Distance between Nairobi, Kenya and Tatu Estate, Kenya". Globefeed. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. ^ "Trains Transport A Relief To Ruiru Residents". Nairobi: Kenya News Agency. 7 October 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  5. ^ Google (5 March 2020). "Location of Ruiru, Kiambu County, Kenya" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Elevation of Ruiru, Kenya". Floodmap. 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Ruiru". WorldPOI. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b[dead link]
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2022. Retrieved 13 May 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Gov't, Tatu City Partner To Undertake Projects". Kenya News Agency. 17 November 2021. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Slow dream to Kenya's technocities, Tatu City taking shape". Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  12. ^ "State agency lauds Tatu City special economic zone for one-stop facility". Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Northlands City plots sell for Sh40m". 27 September 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Kenyatta family seeks approval for its dream city outside Nairobi". 22 December 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Kiambu County: Population of Major Urban Centers: Ruiru" (PDF). United States Agency for International Development. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  16. ^ Ruiru population statistics
  17. ^ Naomi Wanjiku (22 February 2018). "Why Ruiru MP is popular among women, youths and street urchins". Hivisasa. Retrieved 28 May 2020.

External links[edit]