Agriculture, Livestock and Co-operatives
Main crops produced
The main crops grown are: watermelons and sweet melon, mangoes, vegetables, tomatoes, paw paws, bananas, cowpeas, simsim, rice, sorghum, maize and green grams. These are usually produced on a small scale under irrigation along the River Tana. In the hinterland it is under rain fed farming. There is huge potential for value addition on mangoes, tomatoes and water melons.
Agricultural extension, training, research and information services
Public extension services to farmers are operational from the sub county, wards and village levels. The farmers are reached through individual and group visits, field demonstrations, field days, shows and exhibitions. There is one research station – KALRO, one farmers’ training centre, a number of model demonstration farms and the ASK show which is now dormant.
Main livestock breeds and facilities
Livestock rearing is the backbone of the county’s economy. The main livestock bred are cattle (Boran), goats (Galla), sheep (black headed Persian) and camel (dromedary one humped). The main livestock products are meat, milk, hides and skins. The estimate numbers of livestock by type are 1,104,184 cattle, 1,089,870 sheep, 1, 947,163 goats, 486,000 camel, 165,000 donkeys and 215,000 poultry. During the dry season, there is a general migration of livestock from the hinterland to areas near River Tana where water is readily available. However, some pastoralists move with their livestock to adjacent counties of Tana River and Lamu in search of pasture. Much of the County’s livestock population are indigenous sheep, goats and cattle, found in the southern parts
which receive more rain while camels occupy the drier north.
The county has a total of 25 registered cooperative societies; five livestock marketing, three Agricultural Multi-Purpose, two Bee-Keeping, three consumer, 10 SACCOs, one building and construction and one Jua Kali. Of these, 11 are active while 14 are dormant. The total membership is 1,164 with a total share capital of Kshs. 9,501,223.
Education, Public Relations, and Information
The sector comprises of Education, Public Service, labour Relations and Information sub-sectors. The sector charged with the overall responsibility of supervising the quality provision of Early Childhood Development Education, strengthening vocational training, prudent public service management as well real time information flow across the county
The County government will further strengthen the County Public Service Board and the Directorate of Human Resource Development to ensure the best human capital across the county is tapped upon to raise the potential of the county in service delivery. This sector will promote the adoption of ICT in all sectors to ensure that activities are well coordinated and implemented in synergistic manner.
Garissa County has 184 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) Centres with a total enrolment of 24,091 consisting of 13,285 boys and 10,806 girls. There are 229 teachers hence a teacher pupil ratio of 1:105. The pre-school net enrolment rate is 9.6 per cent and the completion rate is 89.34 per cent while the retention rate is 11 per cent. This is due to the nomadic lifestyle of the people. In addition to formal schooling there are also Madarasa where young children are taught religious studies.
The county has 131 primary schools with a total enrolment rate of 41,474 consisting of 24,939 boys and 16,535 girls. The enrolment rate is low in the county. There are 672 teachers giving a teacher pupil ratio stands at 1:61. The primary school net enrolment rate is 23.5 per cent while the completion rate is 62.7 per cent. The transition rate stands at 58.3 per cent. This is due to the nomadic lifestyle of the people and early marriages among the girl child.
The county has 18 secondary schools with a total enrolment of 6,580 students with 4,774 boys and 1,806 girls. This represents four per cent of the secondary school age population. The teacher student ratio stands at 1: 36. The secondary school net enrolment rate is 3.50 per cent and the completion rate is 77 per cent.
Public and private university campuses are being set up in the town. These include the Kenyatta University and Al Mustaqbal University. There is one Science and Technology Institute, North Eastern Technical Training Institute, one Kenya Medical Training College and one Teachers Training College all located in Garissa town. The county also has three youth polytechnics; one each in Bura East, Dadaab and Garissa. In addition there are six private accredited colleges and four non-accredited colleges in Garissa.
Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources
Major degraded areas / hotspot sand major contributions to environmental
The major degraded areas are around the refugees based in Dadaab and Fafi Sub counties as a result of many overharvesting of fire wood and construction materials. Activities that have contributed greatly to environmental degradation in the county include: illegal encroachments and un planned human settlements, logging and over-grazing, mushrooming of settlements on grazing land, increase in population, climate change, influx of refugees and charcoal burning. Frequent floods during rainy season have also contributed greatly to environmental degradation
Climate change has profound adverse impacts on all sectors. The impacts of climate change include livestock, agriculture, water, energy, health, wildlife and infrastructure. The adverse impacts of climate change have the potential to significantly inhibit the sustainable development of Kenya in key priority areas. This will result to shift in rainfall patterns (more frequent, severe and prolonged droughts and flash floods at times), rising temperatures, extreme harsh weather and unpredictable rainfalls. Manifestation of climate change is through increased frequency and intensity of drought and floods.
About 84 per cent of the county’s population use fire wood as a source of energy for cooking purposes while 40 per cent of the population use charcoal thus aggravating Environmental degradation. Electricity is available in Garissa, Ijara, Dadaab, Bura East, Balambala and Modogashe, and their environs with only 1.5 per cent of the population having access to electricity. In Hulugho, the project of installation of power was started and stalled on the way. In addition the Ministry of Energy has installed solar systems in health facilities, schools and
watering points. Other sources of energy such as biogas and solar are used on a limited scale both at 0.3 per cent.
Finance, and Economic Planning
Number of banks, Micro finance institutions, mobile money agents and SACCOs
The county is served by a total of twenty two financial institutions. These include nine commercial banks, thirteen village banks and one micro-finance institution. Examples of these financial institutions are Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank, Cooperative Bank, Barclays Bank, Equity Bank, Gulf Bank, Post Bank, First Community Bank, Kenya Women Finance Trust among others. In addition there are also ten SACCOs including Garissa Teachers, Rema among others and two insurance companies including Takaful and Amaco. Most of these financial institutions are based in Garissa Township.
Distribution/Coverage of Financial Services by Sub-County
Most of these financial institutions are based in Garissa town leaving the rest of sub-counties uncovered. There is need to establish Branches in all sub-counties and possibly the major towns. The distribution of these financial services is centralized in Garissa Town hence no decentralized services in sub-counties.
The Blue Economy
The blue economy is sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth. The blue economy encompasses many activities including: Renewable energy, fisheries, marine transport, tourism, climate change and waste management among others. Garissa County has a 20 km stretch of the Indian Ocean as part of her marine catchment area. This stripe by virtue of distance from headquarter (Garissa town) is not considered for fisheries.
Therefore data of fish landed in this area is captured in Lamu County. Little is contributed from Garissa County. However, there is need to fully exploit the activities associated with the use on Blue Economy for the economic growth in the County. If fully exploited it will create more jobs for the youth, increase revenue and consumption of fish will make people healthy.
Gender, Social Services, and Sports
Sports, Culture and Creative Arts
There are several sporting activities in Garissa including football, athletics and volley ball among others. However, registration of cultural groups which is undertaken by national government is a devolved function which needs to be taken up by the county. This is one area where revenue generation is expected once the registration of sport activities is within the county docket.
Museums, Heritage and Cultural sites
There is no museum in the county but only one cultural centre in Garissa town which is under developed. The only cultural social hall initiated by the national government is incomplete and stalled. There is need to complete the remaining works and make the centre operational.
There are no talent academies in the county but efforts to initiate one should be considered by the county government.
There are no formal facilities existing in all sub counties for sports activities but playing fields in schools and public baraza parks do exist. County government should put in place same mechanism to establish stadia in all sub-counties to tap the talent of young sportsmen and women coming up.
Health, and Sanitation Services
This sector plays an important role in the development of the county as a whole. It includes the following sub-sectors; Medical Services, Public Health and sanitation.
Health Access (Health Facilities, Health personnel and their distribution by Sub
Garissa County has a total of 205 health facilities. Out of these, 68 are level two facilities, seven are level four, 85 are private clinics, 13 level three private, 4 are private Nursing Homes, one is private Hospital, 21 are level three facilities and one is a level five facility based in Garissa Town. There are also three Non-Governmental Organization dispensaries and two mission health facilities which are included in the above figure. Good health care services are mostly in the urban areas. The average distance to the nearest health facility is 25Km. Most of the health facilities are along the river and urban centres where there are settlements. The number of trained
health personnel is also very low with the doctor population ratio being currently 1:41,538 while the nurse population ratio is 1:2,453. The WHO recommended Doctor and Nurse Population ratio is 1:10,000 for Doctors and 1:1,000 for Nurses. This shows that, there is need for recruiting more Doctors and Nurses in the county.
The proportion of the population of the county that uses pit latrines as a means of sanitation is 46.76 per cent while 2.6 per cent use VIP latrines. A majority of the population at 50.63 per cent use other means of sanitation such as bushes. There is only one sewerage connection that is currently being constructed in Garissa town. However other towns in the county do not have sewerage connections.
ICT, and E-Government
The county is served by three mobile phone service providers, with coverage of 62 per cent. However, a large section of the county still has no network coverage especially in Balambala and Fafi. The total landline connection stands at 800. The radio coverage is over 95% since most of rural population depends on radio for news coverage. There is only one Huduma centre in the whole of Garissa County. There are four post offices in the county, namely; Garissa, Modogashe, Dadaab and Masalani. The county is served by several internet cyber cafes.
Lands, Housing, and Urban Development
The sector comprises of lands, Housing, and Physical Planning sub-sectors. The sector has been identified as a foundation for economic recovery by supporting the productive sectors in realizing their growth targets and hence poverty alleviation.
Land and Land Use
The new Constitution (Chapter 5 Sections 60 – 68) classifies land into public, private and community and points out that all land in Kenya belongs to the people collectively as a nation, communities and individuals. Community land in Kenya will be held by communities on the basis of ethnicity, culture or similar interest. Community land comprises land registered in the name of group representatives, transferred to a specific community and land held, managed or used by communities as community forests, grazing areas or shrines.
The land in the county is community owned and belong to the people which is recognized not just as a commodity for trade, but also as a principal source of livelihood. In urban centres, people have acquired individual plot and majority of them have been given allotment letters to own the plots. In rural areas subdivision of land has not been done hence land is used communally by the people in their unique way.
Incidence of Landlessness
Land in the county is communally owned. It is held in trust for the community by Garissa County Government. Majority of the local communities in the county live in informal settlements. A big percentage of community live in urban centres where infrastructure is well developed and accessible. The land is not subdivided to individuals but used communally except in towns where individuals own plots but majority do not have title deeds.
Housing remains a big challenge in the county with a high percentage of the population living in shanties/Manyattas which are prone to fire disasters among others. The distribution of housing in the county by wall material is varied. Majority of residents, 43 per cent, use grass straws, while 19.4 per cent live in houses with mud/wood walls. Only 12.9 per cent of residents reside in brick/block walled houses.
Roads, Transport and Public Works
The sector comprises of Roads, transport and Public Works. The sector has been identified as a foundation for economic recovery by supporting the productive sectors in realizing their growth targets and hence poverty alleviation.
Road, Rail Networks and Airstrips
The county has a total classified road network of 2,700.6 km. which comprises of 1,637.84km being manned by the county government and 1,062.76 Km under national government. The road network comprises of 35.5 Km of bitumen surface, 2,245.1Km of earth surface and 420 Km of gravel surface. The county government is responsible for developing, rehabilitating and managing all unclassified roads. County roads are in poor condition and most of them are rendered impassable during rainy season thus curtailing all movement by road in the county. The county has three bridges, on River Tana, which are in good condition. Movement across Laghas is facilitated through concrete drifts that are also rendered impassable during floods. There are eight airstrips in the county with Garissa, Lagdera, Hulugho, Fafi, Balambala and Ijara having one each while Dadaab has two. The county has no railway line, no mojar bus park, jetties and ports.
Trade, Enterprise Development, and Tourism
Several markets exist in Garissa which include Garissa, Masalani, Daadab, Modogashe,
Balambala and Bura.
The Jua Kali sheds have been proposed in all major townships in the County, but are yet to be constructed. There is urgent need to put in to consideration the construction of Jua Kali sheds in all major towns and centres so as to boost economic growth and reduce poverty.
The county has only one major industry, Maua Milling. However, the industry is on the verge of closure due to the current insecurity problems, lack of proper insurance coverage. There is also a milling plant, Salama bakery and a number of water treatment plants which exist as small industries. There is need to explore and exploit the available opportunities that exist in the county.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME)
Garissa County is the Hub and major trading centre in North Eastern and part of Coast regions. It provides a conducive environment of doing business both for locals and international investors/communities. Nearly half of county population especially middle earners get their income from business. On average 7 out of 10 new jobs are created in the informal sector. Majority of MSEs are in the agriculture, Trade, Small Manufacturing, hotels, and transport services. Major of MSME businesses are not registered and a good percentage operate on
temporary structures/market stalls.
Main Tourist Attractions and Activities
The county has a high potential for tourism development. The potential include a wide range of wildlife species such as, Hirola, lions, giraffes, tigers and zebras, a rich Somali traditional culture and a highly developed hospitality industry in Garissa Town. The proximity of the county to the tourist coastal town of Lamu makes it ideal for linkage through a tourist circuit. This coupled with the rich traditional culture of the Somali people would boost tourism in the region. Garissa County heavily relies on domestic tourism from the many local and international Non- Governmental Organizations operating in the area throughout the year.
Garissa County has a large population of game animals and birds, which are an important resource for tourist attraction. The main wildlife types found in the county are: Elephants, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Hippopotamus, Crocodiles, Hunters, Hart Beasts, Grants Gazelles, Thompson Gazelle, Gerenuk, Civil Jackals, Spotted Hyena, Buffalos, hirola (only endemic in Garissa in the world), Grey Zebras, Topi, reticulated Giraffes, white giraffe, wild dogs, Dik-dik and Baboons. The wild animals are not confined to parks, they move freely.
Wildlife conservation areas
The county has the following game parks, reserves, conservancies and game ranches: Garissa Giraffe sanctuary, Ishaqbin Community Conservancy, Waso Conservancy, Arawale National Reserve, Rahole National Reserve and Boni National Reserve. There is need to enhance the exploitation and utilization of these facilities fully.
Last Update: December 1, 2021