West Pokot County

Coordinates: 1°14′00″N 35°07′00″E / 01.23333°N 035.1167°E / 01.23333; 035.1167
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West Pokot County
Flag of West Pokot County
Coat of arms of West Pokot County
Location in Kenya
Location in Kenya
Coordinates: 1°14′00″N 35°07′00″E / 01.23333°N 035.1167°E / 01.23333; 035.1167
Country Kenya
Formed4 March 2013
 • GovernorSimon Kachapin
 • Total8,418.2 km2 (3,250.3 sq mi)
 • Total621,241
 • Density74/km2 (190/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)

West Pokot County is a county in Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Kapenguria. The county covers an area of approximately 9,169.4 square kilometers and stretches a distance of 132 kilometers from north to south.[2]

West Pokot County is bordered to the north by Turkana County, to the east by Baringo County, to the southeast by Elgeyo-Marakwet County, to the south by Trans Nzoia County and to the west by Uganda. According to the 2019 census, the county has a population of 621,241.[1]

The county is home to Tegla Loroupe, one of the most famous Kenyan female runners, and the birthplace of Israeli Olympic marathon runner Lonah Chemtai Salpeter.


Pokot people are the main inhabitants of the county, and there is also a minority community of Sengwer.[3]

Historical population
1979 158,652—    
1989 225,449+42.1%
1999 308,086+36.7%
2009 512,690+66.4%
2019 621,241+21.2%


Religion in West Pokot County [5]

Religion (2019 Census) Number
Catholicism 192,787
Protestant 232,950
Evangelical Churches 81.184
African instituted Churches 43,831
Orthodox 2,477
Other Cristian 14,202
Islam 2,619
Hindu 26
Traditionists 19,645
Other 9,723
No ReligionAtheists 18.104
Don't Know 1,213
Not Stated 106


Mount Mtelo is located in West Pokot County.


  1. Kapenguria Constituency
  2. Kacheliba Constituency
  3. Pokot South Constituency
  4. Sigor Constituency

County subdivisions[edit]

Recreation center, conference facility
Kapenguria Bible Centre in Kapenguria Town.
Local authorities (councils)
Authority Type Population* Urban pop.*
Kapenguria Municipality 56,019 12,984
Chepareria Town 8,212 901
Pokot County 243,855 0
Total - 308,086 13,885
* 1999 census. Source:[6]
Administrative divisions
Division Population* Urban pop.* Headquarters
Alale 29,679 0
Chepareria 68,518 900 Chepareria
Chesegon 21,343 0
Kacheliba 20,151 0
Kapenguria 62,746 12,438 Kapenguria
Kasei 9,879 0
Kongelai 20,018 0 Kongelai
Lelan 32,931 0
Sigor 42,821 0 Sigor
Total 308,086 13,338 -
* 1999 census. Sources[7][8]


The West Pokot county economy is principally driven by livestock rearing and agriculture. Large numbers of cattle, sheep and goats are reared, with some of the breeds reared being Sahiwal Zebus, Galla goats and Merino sheep. In Pokot Central and North sub-counties, zebu indicine cattle have long been kept for meat production while in West Pokot and Pokot South sub-counties dairy breeds, primarily Ayrshire and Friesian, are increasingly kept for milk production.[2]

Some of the main crops grown include maize, a staple ingredient grown mainly in West Pokot Sub-County, as well as finger millet, coffee, beans, onions, sweet potatoes, green grams, peas, mangoes, oranges, bananas, potatoes and pyrethrum.[9] The latter two are mainly grown in South Pokot sub-county. Irrigation infrastructure has been developed by the National Irrigation Authority & the Kerio Valley Development Authority in Sigor across the permanent rivers; WeiWei and Muruny putting over 1000 acres in year long crop production without relying on rain.


West Pokot County is known for livestock production with large numbers of cattle, sheep and goats being reared in the county. The sector faces significant challenges of banditry in the form of livestock theft.

In early 2022, the West Pokot government, in partnership with the European Union, established the Nasukuta Export Abattoir in Chepareria ward. The abattoir started at 60 per cent capacity utilization for cattle, sheep and goats, and was anticipated to slaughter 18,720 cattle and 56,160 sheep and goats in its first year.[10]


A clinker plant constructed by Simba Cement in Sebit to crush limestone from Sebit Hills of West Pokot County is set to open in July 2023. The plant will have the capacity to process an estimated 6,000 tonnes of clinker daily (two million tonnes annually) which will be crushed in West Pokot then transported to a grinding plant in Eldoret town.[11][12]



The Turkwel Hydro Power Plant operated by electricity generating company Kengen is situated in West Pokot County. Though the plant produces about 105MW of power which is fed to the national grid, many communities around the power plant and the extensive districts of West Pokot and Turkana do not benefit from this resource.

Notable residents[edit]

Lonah Chemtai Salpeter

2019 landslide[edit]

On 23 November 2019 there was a landslide around 2:30 a.m. in West Pokot County near the border with Uganda that was triggered by heavy rainfall that killed over 52 people. At least 22 other people were missing after this disaster, and over 22,000 people were displaced.[14][15][16]

Flooded roads and bridges were swept away after the incident, hindering rescue operations. It is one of the worst natural disasters to hit the area in recorded history.[17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24]


  1. ^ a b "2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume I: Population by County and Sub-County". Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b County Government. "West Pokot County Information". westpokot.go.ke. County Government of West Pokot. Archived from the original on 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  3. ^ "West Pokot County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP 2018-2022)". Maarifa. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
  4. ^ Kenya: Administrative Division population statistics
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "The National Treasury" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2020. Retrieved 28 December 2006.
  7. ^ http://www.cck.go.ke/html/final_annex1_cover_status.pdf [dead link]
  8. ^ "Urban poverty". Archived from the original on 16 July 2006. Retrieved 28 December 2006.
  9. ^ "West Pokot revives cash crop farming". The Star. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  10. ^ Chai, Maryann (4 April 2022). "Nasukuta abattoir to slaughter 18,720 cattle, 56,160 sheep and goats annually". The Star. West Pokot. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  11. ^ Andae, Gerald (27 February 2023). "Simba Cement Pokot plant opens in August". Business Daily. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  12. ^ Bii, Barnabas (5 April 2023). "Clinker plant gives West Pokot economic hope". Business Daily. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Biography Tegla Loroupe |".
  14. ^ "Death toll from landslides hits 52 – VIDEO", Nation, retrieved 3 December 2019
  15. ^ Muraya, Joseph (20 April 2020). "4,000 displaced by West Pokot mudslides that killed 4 » Capital News". Capital News. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Houses destroyed as fresh landslides hit West Pokot – Kenya". ReliefWeb. 3 February 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  17. ^ Farai Sevenzo; Kagweni Micheni; Rob Picheta (24 November 2019). "At least seven children among dozens killed in Kenya landslide". CNN. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  18. ^ Wasike, Allan. "West Pokot landslide death toll hits 52, Governor appeals for a chopper to help transport bodies | KU Radio". Archived from the original on 26 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  19. ^ "Deadly landslides bury Kenya villagers". 23 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  20. ^ "Hheavy rainfall triggered landslides in West Pokot in Kenya on 23-24 Nov". The Landslide Blog. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  21. ^ Shanzu, Stephen Rutto and Irishreel. "Victims of landslide in West Pokot in dire need four days after disaster". The Standard. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  22. ^ "40 medics in West Pokot to help landslides, floods victims - Kenya". ReliefWeb. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  23. ^ Death toll from landslides hits 52 - VIDEO, retrieved 3 December 2019
  24. ^ "Landslide death toll in West Pokot rises to 43". Capital News. 24 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.

External links[edit]