Trade, Industries, and Cooperatives
Trade and cooperatives in the county deal with the selling and buying of the commodities within the county and manufacture others for export. The county has 16 industries that specialize mostly in agricultural-based products.
It has 5 tea factories:
- Thumaita tea factory,
- Kimunye tea factory,
- Kangaita tea factory,
- Mununga tea factory
It also has 1 coffee miller (KPCU), and 2 maize millers (Joymax millers and Centur millers). There are 7 major rice millers
- Mwea rice mills
- MRGM ,
- Tai rice millers,
- Victory rice millers,
- Top grade rice millers,
- Nice rice millers,
- Boma rice millers
There is also John Kaburo animal feeds in Kangai ward. There are 22 jua kali associations around the county and 1,270 jua kali artisans. The county also has different cooperatives which pull together the common interests of different individuals such as the Kirinyaga County Farmers Cooperative Union, poultry, Dairy, Goats Cooperative Society (PODAGO), and Mwirua Coffee Farmers Cooperative Society. With the other agricultural activities happening in the county, each one has a cooperative society that looks into the matters affecting the farmers. The county has also promoted trade by building up new modern markets in different regions including:
- Kagio Cereals Market
- Kagio Fresh Produce Market
- Kutus Market
- Kerugoya Market
- Makutano Market
- Kagumo Market
- Kianyaga Market
- Kiamutugu Market
- Sagana Market
- Kibingoti Market
The construction of the new markets aims to give the farmers in the area a conducive environment for selling their products and raising the per capita income.
Youth, Sports, Gender, and Culture
The county has been very vigilant regarding the youths and sports affairs as it is aware of the opportunities hidden in this department. The department deals with all matters related to cultural activities and facilities, public entertainment and public amenities, including betting, casinos and other forms of gambling, racing, liquor licensing, cinemas, video shows, and hiring, libraries, museums, sports, county parks, beaches and recreation facilities, control of drugs and pornography; matters related to Youth, children, women, men, aged and People living with disabilities. Promote Community Development by designing the programmes and policies that build peoples’ capacity to resist risk factors and enhance protective factors.
The vision of the department is to be a dynamic and youth-oriented and policy-driven department. It has created job opportunities for the youths in different county sectors, including in the construction sites. It has also supported sports by distributing kits to the players and funds to help them. The Kirinyaga county has upheld it’s Gikuyu culture through supporting cultural groups identified. It maintains and supports cultural groups such as the Mwomboko dancers and cultural activities such as circumcision and maintaining of the thingira’s.
Finance, and ICT
The department of finance in the county government of Kirinyaga works together with other departments to ensure that the county plans are achieved accordingly. It coordinates all matters related to Revenue collection and the creation of an enabling environment for the same, county economic planning for enhanced productivity, marketing the county as an economic hub, mapping the resources for the county for investment and ICT services which ensures use of ICT for service delivery. The Kirinyaga County ICT 2015-2020 is working towards achieving superior education delivery, strong and diverse business and commerce relationships as well as deepening open governance through the County decisions. The department prepares a financial plan catering for other departmental financial needs. The department accomplishes this through the mini financial reports it gets from each department. The county has automated a few public service delivery systems among them a mobile phone platform. It is promoting itself as a tourist destination via an enhanced web presence. The ICT section has undergone several challenges including Kirinyaga County is not connected NOFBI in spite of the fact that termination
reaches the County commissioner’s office.
Health, Nutrition, and Sanitation
The health department ensures standard healthcare services to the people and the sustainability of technological-driven medical services. It has also been working towards ensuring universal health services to all residents. There are 202 health facilities in the county with a total bed capacity of 764 comprising 109 public health institutions, 39 mission/NGO institutions the largest one being Mwea Mission hospital, and 54 private clinics. There are 3 level four facilities located in Kirinyaga Central, Gichugu, and Mwea Constituencies in addition there is one private hospital namely Mt. Kenya hospital located in Kerugoya town. In addition to these, there are 10 level three facilities, 45 level two facilities, and 51 level one facilities which are spread all over the county. The residents are mostly suffering from flu as the most prevalent disease which is at 38%. Other diseases that affect the residents include respiratory diseases at 36.9 percent others are Malaria/fever at 21.6 percent, diarrhea at 6%, and stomach ache at 2 percent. The county has 98.3% vaccination level and 42% antenatal care attendance. In collaboration with the national government the department has been administering the vaccines and antenatal services freely. The nutrition level in the county is high as there are few cases of malnutrition and underweight among children below 5 years. The county has been rated to have poor sanitation as loses 300 million KES each year due to poor sanitation. The department has set up plans to improve the sanitation situation including programs to educate the residents on the same.
Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries
Agriculture in the county of Kirinyaga is one of the main economic activities that the county is proud of as it supports the county’s economic growth. The department has been supporting the farmers by supplying inputs to the farmers. Main crops include rice which is grown in paddies in the lower zones and tea which is grown in the upper parts of the county. Coffee is also a major crop grown in the upper and middle zones. Other major crops grown include bananas, tomatoes, beans, mangoes, maize, and other horticultural crops. The Mwea Tebere irrigation scheme in the county is a source of income and job opportunities for the area’s residents. The county also engages in livestock keeping including poultry, cattle, goats sheep, and bees farming. The agricultural activities have enabled the people in the area to live a healthy life as they get fresh food direct from the firm. However, the department has gone through challenges, too, such as the county prioritizing other departments in the financial plan.
Transport, and Public work
The county government has ensured the transport department plans for the transport matters, including constructing a reliable road network within the county. the department works towards achieving the following objectives:
- To develop and maintain a well-trained and competent workforce.
- To continuously benchmark the internal functions and deliverables of the roads sector against other Counties and international best practice.
- Provide and maintain a transport network, road safety network, and road infrastructure which are safe, functional and enhance the economic development of the County and the region in general.
The department, over the last five-year planning period, has managed to install approximately 28 box culverts, 311 units of culvert lines, and more than 9 culvert lines. In addition, the department has managed to maintain 36.8 kilometers worth of roads. Further, it has managed to undertake spot improvement on 583.55 kilometers of road. 35.45 kilometers of road have also been constructed. 24 footbridges have also been constructed. Other developments that have been facilitated by this department include installment of 2 spring drifts, murmuring of roads, 2.5-kilometer canal, and river crossing including Rurii river crossing and Ndiriti crossing. However there have been delays in implantation of some projects, Lack of proper facilitation to the Department staff hindering their efficiency, financial constraints of the Contractor causing delays and poor works, Inadequate experience of the Contractor i.e. technical expertise due to use of
unskilled labour and supervisors.
Education and Public service
The county has supported education in different ways, including adding more schools and having a university in the county. The literacy level defined as those who can read and write is 78.4 percent. Currently, Kirinyaga County has 198 public ECDE centers manned by 447 ECDE
teachers under contract. The number of Primary schools in the county is 326 with a 2,916 teachers and total enrolment of 111,400 students. These figures give a teacher-pupil ratio of 1: 38. The gross enrolment rate in the county is 117 percent due to the introduction of Free Primary Education programme (FPE). Secondary schools in the county total 143 with a total of 1,329 teachers and total enrolment of 39,988 students. The Kirinyaga DVET subsector has a total of 105 instructors constituting of 10 home craft instructors and 95 polytechnic instructors, and 12 principals. Kirinyaga Technical Institute (KTI) was converted into a constituent university college of JKUAT and renamed Kirinyaga University. All these is evidence of how the county values education. The department has been supporting education through the construction of more schools and giving bursaries to students in high schools and universities. However financial constraints in the department have been a challenge thus hindering completion of other plans.
Environmental and Natural resources
The department of environment and natural resources ensures maintenance of the natural resources, water supply, and the utility of these resources. Kirinyaga county has a number of natural resources that have contributed to tourist attraction in the county such as Mount Kenya which attracts activities like mountain climbing. The county has 7 forests. It also has a quarry site in Murinduko ward which produces building stones, quarry waste. Historical sites, and Natural wonders like ‘Daranja ya Mungu’. The department has put in initiative to maintain the natural resources
Land, Physical Planning, and Housing
Through the Mountain Cities Blueprint, the county has supported the housing project and construction of the classic building in the county. The Committee in the department considers all matters related to; County planning and development including statistics, land survey and mapping, boundaries and fencing as well as Advertisement. The department is using the following objectives to achieve its goals:
- To ensure sustainable development.
- To improve housing, sanitation, and management of urban centers.
- To increase the number of surveyed plots and improve the security of tenure.
It has plans to Expand the Land registry, use of digital mapping of four priority towns. The department has facilitated in the construction of houses in the Kirinyaga CBD which has facilitated the county growth.
Last Update: December 17, 2021