Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Livestock
Main crops produced
The economy of the County is dependent on agriculture, which contributes to rural employment, food production and rural incomes. The level of food self-sufficiency in the County is 51%, however approximately 10 percent of the entire population is absolutely food insecure. The sector plays a major role by contributing about 87.3% of income earned by the rural population. The main food crops grown in the County include cereals such as maize, sorghum, and millets; pulses such as green grams (Ndengu), cowpeas and pigeon peas; root crops such as cassava,
sweet potatoes and arrow roots; industrial crops such as cotton, sisal and sunflower, and horticultural crops represented mainly by fruits such as mangoes, pawpaw, and water melons as well as vegetables such as tomatoes, kales, onions and bullet chilies. The total annual average crop production is 80,680MT for cereals valued at Kshs. 4.24 billion, 771MT for industrial crops valued at Kshs. 29.04 million and 36,950MT for horticultural crops valued at Kshs. 990 million. County crops are grown as sources of food and income and production is mainly dependent on rain. Rainfall in the County is not only inadequate but erratic thus necessitating the use of irrigation to augment food production.
Acreage under food and cash crops
Kitui has the potential to be a major food producing County in Kenya if appropriate agricultural interventions coupled with irrigation-based crop production are adopted. Currently, the average acreage (hectares) under food production is 192,325 compared to a potential of 400,000 for cereal crops; 298,277 compared to a potential of 380,000 for pulses; 350 compared to a potential of 2,000 for cassava; 907 compared to a potential of 170,000 for industrial crops (sisal, cotton and sunflower); 2765 compared to a potential of 16,500 for fruits, and 1170 compared to a potential of 84,500 for vegetables, respectively.
Main livestock breeds and facilities
The main livestock types kept in the County are cattle (beef and dairy), goats (meat and dairy), sheep and poultry (indigenous and exotic). Farmers have also ventured into apiculture. Livestock cushions farmers against adverse condition especially in times of drought. The sector largely contributes to income generation and food security in main livestock zones. In LM4, LM5, IL5 and IL6 it contributes approximately 40-50% of total household incomes while in UM3 and UM4 it contributes 20-30% of household incomes. The County annual average production levels for various livestock enterprise products are as follows; 3,077 tonnes of beef, 1466.6 tonnes of goat meat (Chevon) and 70 million eggs, 4.2 million liters of milk and 960 tonnes of honey against the estimated potential annual local demand of 32,120 tonnes of meat, 100.4 million liters of milk and 171.6 million eggs. Rangeland and pastures occupy about 1,048,728 hectares, which is about 80% of the County. The livestock carrying capacity is approximately 4.4 hectares per Livestock unit (LU). The Zebu constitutes 97% of breed kept while Boran and Sahiwal account for 3%. Over 55% of beef cattle are found in AEZ IL6 and 40% in UM 4 and IL5. The balance of 5% is found in UM3 and UM4. The preferred dairy breeds are Ayrshire, Friesian, Guernsey and Jersey and their crosses in that order.
Beekeeping has been practiced in Kitui County since time immemorial. It is viable and sustainable form of farming because of the amount of land considered as rangeland standing at over 70% and rainfall that support adequate vegetation necessary for bee foliage. Honey is produced mainly from traditional log hives by individual farmers locally referred to as ‘Ikuli’. Most beekeeping activities are concentrated in Mwingi North, West and Central. Notable production is also seen in Kitui Rural, East and South. The bulk of beekeeping and honey
production equipment are log hives which account for 95% of honey produced locally. Modern hives are few and account for a paltry 5% of honey production. There are 120,000 traditional hives and 10,387 modern hives in the County. The bulk of the honey estimated at 960 tonnes per annum valued at Ksh 290 Million is harvested from traditional hives. The modern hives produce an estimated 94 tons of honey with a value of Ksh. 28 million according to 2013 to 2015 average production figures. Honey from Kitui is still held in high regard. Small scale value addition is being undertaken by Mwingi Honey Cooperative. The County government is also promoting
production and processing of honey through establishment of 16 honey processing units. Beekeeping is an enterprise with a lot of potential for improvement for honey production and income generation. The enterprise can be an important base for sustainable development of cottage industries in the County.
Water and Sanitation
Kitui County current water supply and demand using an average consumption of 50 liters per person in urban and 25 liters per person in rural areas stands at 32,176 cubic meters and 12,586 cubic meters respectively. The shortage in urban areas is even worse than in rural with access to piped water standing at 36.1 % urban and 41.1 % rural. Water management in Kitui is under KITWASCO which is primarily in charge of Kitui sub-counties and KIMWASCO Companies in charge of Mwingi sub-counties. KITWASCO is in charge of managing water supplies from the Masinga-Kitui water which is an inter-county project while KIMWASCO is in charge of the
Inter sub-County project of Kiambere-Mwingi. Other water points producing between 10 and 100 cubic meters daily are managed by Community Management Committees or the Community themselves. To increase accessibility of water to the residents of Kitui the water companies have the following plans to increase piping network and rehabilitate old ones which will cost Ksh1.8 billion. The County has two sets of borehole drilling rigs. Excavators and other machineries for dam excavation and desilting are done using AMS machines and equipment. The desilting of dams and wells as well as boreholes will be done by the water services department and through private procurement as the department does not have adequate capacity to carry out all the work. The County will also examine its own processes in this area to determine how they can improve efficiency as the turnaround time is much slower than those achieved by private companies. While the management of these companies is supposed to be self-funding there are challenges particularly in managing water losses and in collecting revenues. The community managed water points are also self-financing, and a few have financial problems rendering the water source
Ministry of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources
The different sectors have the following responsibilities
- Formulation and review of County specific policies on the environment.
- Developing and enacting legislation and regulatory framework for County specific policies for the environment.
- Implementation of county policies and legislation related to the environment.
- Enforcement of the environmental policies, regulations, laws, and compliance with management measures within the county.
- Provision of information and updates on environmental issues to the county executive and legislative arms.
- Control of air pollution, noise pollution, and other public nuisances.
- Licensing for persons exceeding the permissible noise levels.
- Noise mapping and action plan development.
- Implementation of specific national government policies on environmental conservation.
- Implementation of county-specific forestry policies including farm forestry extension services.
- Water pollution control.
- Facilitate private sector participation in environmental conservation.
- Identification of renewable energy sites for development.
- Formulation and review of County specific policies on renewable energy.
- Developing and enacting legislation and regulatory framework for County specific policies on renewable energy.
- Implementation of county policies and legislation related to renewable energy.
- Enforcement of the energy policies, regulations, laws, and compliance with management measures within the county.
- Provision of information and updates on renewable energy issues to the county executive and legislative arms.
- Facilitate research, adoption and capacity building on sustainability and utilization of renewable energy.
- Promote partnerships to support the distribution and provision of affordable rural electrification and sustainable secure renewable energy.
Mineral Investment Development
- Formulation and review of County specific policies on mining investments and development.
- Developing and enacting legislation and regulatory framework for County specific policies for mining-led development within the county.
- Implementation of county policies and legislation related to mining investments development.
- Enforcement of the policies, regulations, laws, and compliance with management measures within the county.
- Provision of information and updates on mining activities and issues to the county executive and legislative arms.
- Implementation of the relevant national policies.
- Awareness creation to community members/residents on issues related to mining.
- Creation of conducive minerals investments environment at the county level through formulation and review of specific county policies to support the mining activities.
- Promote private sector participation and public private partnerships.
The department has the following responsibilities
- Developing and implementing financial and economic policies in the county.
- Generation of the County Finance management bills
- Preparing the annual budget for the county and coordinating the implementation of the same
- Mobilizing resources for funding the budgetary requirements of the county government
- Managing the county government’s public debt
- Consolidating the annual appropriation accounts and other financial statements of the county government
- Acting as the custodian of the County government assets
- Ensuring compliance with accounting standards prescribed and published by the Accounting Standards Board
- Ensuring proper management and control of the finances of the county government
- Maintaining proper accounts and other records in respect of the County Revenue Fund, Emergencies Fund, and other public funds
- Monitoring the county government entities to ensure proper accountability for the expenditure of funds
- Assisting county government entities to develop their capacity
- Providing National Treasury with information which it may require
- Issuing circulars with respect to financial matters relating to county government entities
- Advising the county government entities, the County Executive and county assembly on financial matters
- Strengthening financial and fiscal relations between national and county governments
- Reporting regularly to the county assembly on the implementation of the county budget
Health & Sanitation
The County Ministry of Health and Sanitation is headed by the County Executive Committee Member of Health and Sanitation. The accounting officer is the Chief Officer of Health. The top technical administration is headed by the Deputy Director and assisted by an Assistant Director. Heads of the various technical departments complete the County Health Management team. The ministry is organized into various key service departments which include: – Clinical, Nursing, Diagnostics, Rehabilitative, Pharmacy, Public Health, Nutrition, Ambulance services etc.
The ministry has a vibrant workforce of about 1086 health workers who man 11 hospitals, 24 health centers and 220 dispensaries spread across the 30,000KM2 of the county. The ministry’s core mandate is to provide quality curative, preventive and promotive and rehabilitative health care services to the people of Kitui County.
To achieve this, the ministry’s services are organized into three tiers; there are various services that can be accessed at different tiers of care. Tier 1 encompasses community strategy where health promotion, community hygiene, and sanitation, Ambulance linkage, and referral to health facilities and disease prevention services are provided. Tier 2 comprising of health centre and dispensaries provide health promotion, curative, preventive, Ambulance services, HIV and TB services, maternal and child health services etc. Tier 3 comprising of Sub County and County hospitals provide all the services provided by tier 2 and in addition it provides specialized services such as surgical services, Dental services, Ophthalmology services, Psychiatry care, Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy, Orthopedics therapy, specialized pediatrics services, Specialized Medical services, Radiology services, Obstetrics and Gynecological and Ambulance services.
Health Access and Nutrition
Health Access (Health Facilities, Health personnel and their distribution by sub county)
Kitui County has several hospitals and health centers to meet the health needs of residents, among them Kitui County Referral Hospital, Mwingi Sub-County General Hospital, Kitui Nursing Home, Neema Hospital, Jordan Hospital, mission-run hospitals such as Muthale Mission hospital and some private health centers. Kitui County has commissioned 23 new health facilities to reduce the distance, time and cost to accessing healthcare services.
There are 240 functional public health facilities in the County, accounting for 6% of the country’s 4, 000 public health facilities. This exceeds the national average of 85 health facilities per County by 145 (63%) facilities. However, a health facility distribution analysis conducted by the former Commission for Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) showed that the 230 health facilities were unevenly and inequitably distributed in the County. In three Sub-Counties, Kitui Central, Kitui West and Mwingi West, over 95% of the residents live within an average distance of 5 kilometers from their homes to the nearest health facility.
The five main common diseases in the County are malaria 49%, diarrhoea 3.4%, stomach ache 5%, Flu 4.1% and Upper respiratory tract infection 7.7%. The main causes of morbidity for children under 5 years in the County are: URTI, diarrhoea, skin diseases, intestinal worms, confirmed malaria, and pneumonia. Patients over 5 years of age die due to URTI, skin diseases, confirmed malaria, diarrhoea, URTI, rheumatism and hypertension. Additionally, HIV/AIDS is also a prevalent disease especially in the urban centers with a prevalence rate of 6.1%. The main Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) include cancer, diabetes, hypertension, benign prostrate hypertrophy (BPH) and arthritis.
The nutrition status of the population in the Kitui County remains poor as a result of frequent droughts resulting to food insecurity at the household level, sub-optimal infant and young child feeding practices, poor child care practices, inadequate access to health services and poor hygiene and sanitation practices in the communities. Wasting rates among children less than five years are at 4.6%. Stunting is currently at 38.2% (Kitui Nutrition Survey Sept 2013) which is way above the national average of 26%. Prevalence of underweight is 20.7% as compared to the national average of 16%.
The immunization for Kitui County is generally low at 63 % compared to the National status 83.5 %. The trend has worsened from 75% in 2012 and as such the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is focusing on the health of children under one. In order to reverse the trend and improve immunization coverage to 80%, there has to be an increase in outreach services and an increase in the number of immunizing centers available, as well as ensuring adequate vaccine supply. In addition, there is an increase in prevalence rates of cervical cancer cases. Currently,
Kitui County has had the pilot vaccination of the HPV vaccine.
Ministry of Lands, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development
Land and Land Use
Land ownership categories/ classification
In Kitui County, like in the rest of Kenya, there are three categories of Land. According to The Constitution of Kenya, Article 61 (2) “Land in Kenya is classified as public, community or private”. The Constitution, further defines public land as:
- land which at the effective date was unalienated government land as defined by an Act of Parliament in force at the effective date;
- land lawfully held, used or occupied by any State organ, except any such land that is occupied by
the State organ as lessee under a private lease;
- land transferred to the State by way of sale, reversion or surrender;
- land in respect of which no individual or community ownership can
be established by any legal process;
- land in respect of which no heir can be identified by any legal process, among others.
Further, the Constitution in Article 62, states that “Public land shall vest in and be held by a County government in trust for the people resident in the County”. In this regard, it is not clear how much land in Kitui County is Public Land. To this end, there is a need to find out the extent of public land in Kitui County.
The second category of land is community land. According to Article 63 of The Constitution, “Community land shall vest in and be held by communities identified on the basis of ethnicity, culture or similar community of interest”. To some extent, community land includes what was formally known as Trust Lands and Group Ranches. There is also a need to establish how much community land is within Kitui County. In addition, areas of community land that are occupied by families, should be adjudicated and Title Deeds issued to the occupants of the land.
The final category is private land. According to Article 64 of the Constitution, “private land consists of:
- registered land held by any person under any freehold tenure;
- land held by any person under leasehold tenure;
- any other land declared private land under an Act of
Parliament. Private land is considered to have secure land tenure and can act as a major form of wealth creation in the County. In this regard, people who have secure rights to land can invest in it because they are not afraid of losing their investment. The formal titles to land can also be used to secure credit form financial institutions, after which the money can be reinvested in the land or in another income generating activity.
Incidence of landlessness
Introduction of private land ownership and population growth are known to increase landlessness in an area. In the past, people lived in villages and shared access to land. When land is individualized, the registered land owner has the right to block other people, including family members from using the land. This can cause landlessness. In thesis published by Ndulu (2013), which has the title “Settlements, Evictions and Their Effects: The Case of Residents Of Kwa Vonza in Kitui County, Kenya” there is evidence of landlessness in Kitui County. However, the
County government needs to carry out a survey and establish the exact number of landless people and possible provide a settlement scheme for them.
Roads and Rail Network
The County has one Class A road passing through the County, the A3 Thika-Garissa road. The Kibwezi-Kitui-Mwingi Road is being upgraded to be completed by 2020. There are other roads proposed in the Road Sub-Sector Investment Programme (RISP) 2010-2024 including: D478-Kola to A3-Nguni; B6-Kitui to A3-Ngooni; D507-Nuu to A3-Nguni; D507-Voo to B7-Ikutha; B7-Chuluni to D507-Mwitika; and E731-Miambani to D509-Mikuyuni. The County has Class E earth road network covering about 1,172.20 Kms. Upgrading of major roads to all-weather status and open up more feeder roads in the County will enhance connectivity and open the region for businesses and economic opportunities.
There are three airstrips in the County, namely, Ithookwe, Tseikuru and Mutomo airstrips. Refurbishment and routine maintenance will enhance connectivity. The County can also benefit significantly from T-Junction of the SGR at Kibwezi town via Mutomo and onwards to Mui Basin, which has commercially viable coal reserves.
Ministry of Trade, Cooperative & Investment
Kitui County had 200 shopping centres in 2014. The number of registered traders has more than doubled within a period of three years from 5,532 in 2014 to 13,060 in 2017. Similarly, the number of registered wholesale traders stood at 1,530 in 2017 up from 142 in 2014. The number of registered jua kali artisans increased from 75 in 2014 to 420 in 2017. This is mainly attributed to improved measures by the County Government to enhance the registration of businesses and partly due to increase in the number of new businesses operating in the County. During the period, a total of 7 modern markets, 104 market sheds, 84 boda boda sheds and 26 public toilets
were built. About 10 per cent of the market sheds are not in use because they have not been officially commissioned.
All the modern markets are already in use. Most of these markets targeted fruit and vegetable traders. Therefore, markets for traders dealing with non-food items need to be considered too in the next five years. In 2017 the number of jua kali sheds were 1,503. There are plans to build more jua kali and boda boda sheds and also modern markets in the next five years so as to improve on the revenue collection and facilitate trade by creating a conducive environment for the traders across the County. The traders will also be able to lock their goods safely instead of carrying the goods to their homes in the morning and evening. There is also a There is also a proposal to have the markets installed with solar panels which is a cheap source of lighting the markets and can also be used in the cottage industries.
Ministry of Tourism, Sports & Culture
Main tourist attractions and activities
The County’s tourist attractions are categorised as: National parks, game reserves and other
tourist attraction centres such as Nzambani rocks.
Sports, Culture and Creative Arts
The county has a total of 21 stadia and 40 play grounds which are based at the county levels.
Museums, Heritage and Cultural sites
In total Kitui county has one Museum and 3 heritage and cultural Sites. Talent Academies
The county does not have any talent academy
The Kitui County has 2 Resource Centers and 4 Social Halls
Ministry of Education, ICT & Youth Development
Early childhood education centres
The county has a total of 1850 ECDE centres.
Vocational training centres
The County has 52 youth Vocational training centres of which 3 are not operational.
Information, Communication Technology
The County Government recognizes the potential of ICT as an enabler of social economic development through delivery of public services and governance. The County is served by mobile telephone service providers by Safaricom, Airtel, and Telecom but the quality of coverage varies with the location. The County is served by 12 post offices run by the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) which oversees mail and parcel delivery as well as offering data communication services. Kitui County has fibre optic connection, but it is yet to be extended to serve all key departments in the County.
The sectors has the following functions
- Formulation and review of county water and irrigation
- Implementation of national and county water and irrigation policies and legislations.
- Development and conservation of water resources.
- Water provision both in towns and rural areas.
- Irrigation development and management
- Formulation and review of county livestock policies and legal framework.
- Implementation of national and county livestock policies and legislation.
- Development and evaluation of livestock production and health programmes and projects.
- Livestock extension services.
- Animal disease control and prevention.
- Artificial insemination and breading services.
- Enforcement of livestock movement and animal health regulations.
- Abattoir and slaughterhouse services.
- Livestock markets and marketing.
Public Service Management
Social net programmes in the County
The National Government supports three cash transfer programmes in Kitui County. These are Older Persons Cash transfers (OP-CT), Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC-CT) and Persons with severe disabilities (PWSD-CT). The amount disbursed for cash transfers in 2016/17 was Ksh. 611,160,000.
Number of public prosecution offices
There are five public prosecution offices located in Kitui central, Kitui south, Mwingi north, Mwingi west and Mwingi central.
Community policing activities
The community policing activities are active in the following sub counties; Kitui central, Kitui eats, Kitui south, Kitui west, Kitui rural, Mwingi north, Mwingi south, Mwingi west and Mwingi central.
Last Update: November 29, 2021