Lamu County

Agriculture, Food Security, Cooperative Development, Water Development, Fisheries, and Blue Economy.

Agriculture remains the backbone of the Lamu County economy. It is the single most important sector in the economy; the main contributors to employment include agriculture, fisheries and livestock production. The development of agriculture is also important for poverty reduction since most of the vulnerable groups like pastoralists, fishermen, the landless, and subsistence farmers, also depend on agriculture as their main source of livelihoods. Growth in the sector is therefore expected to have a greater impact on a larger section of the population than any other sector. The agricultural sector comprises the following programs: administration and support services, crop development and irrigation and drainage. In Lamu County, most of the crops are produced by small scale holders in a mixed farming system. The main food crops grown include maize, sorghum, cow pees, green grams, d. lablab, rice and cassava. The cash crops are cotton, sim-sim, coconut, cashew nuts, bixa, vegetables and mangoes. Horticulture is also a major enterprise in the County producing vegetables such as amaranth, kales, tomatoes and capsicums. Fruits crop such citrus and bananas for both local market and other markets in the coast province.

Promotion of Irrigation based Farming

Ministry of Agriculture& Irrigation is in the process of establishing two irrigation sites; MUUM Irrigation Self Help Group in Mpeketoni and IBSA Self Help Group in Witu Irrigation sites at a cost of KES , 6,100,000. Each Irrigation Projects covers 20 acres under vegetables by at least 80 farmers. The vegetables produced will be sold and the income going to the respective group. Also Redcross in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture& Irrigation has established Mangai Food Security irrigation Project which is now operational.

Achievements: Agriculture and Irrigation

  •  Agricultural mechanization services
  • Purchase of certified seeds
  • Purchase of subsidized fertilizer
  • Construction of grain storage facilities
  • Establishment of irrigation projects
  • Purchase of fiber boat
  • Coconut expansion program
  • Purchase of motorcycles for extension officers
  • Promotion of mechanized agricultural
  • Provision of relief seeds
  • Tissue cultural bananas
  • Construction of water pan for harvesting water
  • Introduction of irrigated based farming
  • Cotton promotion
  • Promotion of cashew nuts programme.
  • Agricultural extension research and training. (Daily routine)
  • Construction of agricultural office block at faza.
  • Provision of subsidized fertilizer


Blue Economy is an emerging concept which encourages better stewardship of our ocean or ‘blue’ resources. The blue economy model aims for improvement of human wellbeing and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
The Department of Fisheries and Blue Economy seeks to strengthen stakeholders’ capacities and develop and implement integrated management policies, strategies and tools, focusing especially on stakeholders’ empowerment, offering a comprehensive view of the Blue Economy explored through a cross-sectoral approach.

The department aims to;

  • Identify strengths and limitations of sustainable development in Lamu county and promote development initiatives under an integrated approach including differentsectors such as fisheries, aquaculture and coastal and maritime development tourism.
  • Develop knowledge of the main innovations and management models for improving the seafood value chain, managing the environmental threats and increasing the competitiveness of the fisheries, aquaculture and coastal and maritime tourism sectors.

KEMSFED (Kenya Marine Fisheries and Social Economic Development).

This project aims to provide a holistic response to a set of dynamic issues that poor andvulnerable coastal fishing communities face. The project target groups of beneficiaries are the fishers and poor and extremely poor fisheries-dependent households in 5 coastal counties. Social inclusion as a principle of project implementation will incorporate the vulnerable and marginalized groups, the classification and categories of which will be determined by the project team. This will include elderly poor, differently-abled persons, child-headed households, HIV infected persons, individuals recovering from drug abuse, youth, women, widows, widowers, minority communities among others.


  1. Final preparations of compensation of fishermen under LAPSSET project.
  2. Giving of fishing gears to fishermen across the county.
  3. Conducting BMU (Beach Management Units) elections.
  4. Restocking of fish in dams and Lake Kenyatta in Lamu County.
  5. Lands, Physical Planning, Housing, Urban Development and Infrastructure

Land, Water, and Housing

The county has land surface area of 6273.1km2 composed of 5517 km2 of arable land 649.7 km2 of non arable land,130km2 of coastline and 308 km2 under water mass.Lamu West sits on land surface area of 3971.3km2 hence taking 63.3% of total land,leaving Lamu East with 36.7%.Kiunga division in Lamu East occupies 96.6% of Lamu Eastland surface area.
The bulk of arable land is in Lamu West while Lamu East takes the bulk of water mass. Based on the physiographic and climatic conditions,the county is classified into the following Agro-Ecological zones; Coastal lowlands, Coconut Cassava zone, Cashew nut-Cassava zone, Livestock millet zone and Lowland ranching zone.

Firewood and charcoal are the main sources of cooking fuel,with use of LPG limited to the affluent in the urban centres.


The county’s main sources of water include ground water which is mostly saline,surface water from dams, pans, jabiars, lakes, seasonal rivers and ocean. Four organizations including Lamu water and sewerage company, Lake Kenyatta Water Association, Hindi Water Association and Witu Water users association, manage the county’s water supply. Rainwater is the main source of fresh/soft water for the county residents.
Lamu County has notably three major options of transport comprising Water; Road; and Air. These options connect the County both externally and internally. Rail connection is not established within the County despite there being a need of a rail connection. The LAPSSET project is anticipated to offer this opportunity and bridge this gap of rail connection to the County once its implementation takes course. From the foregoing statement, it is also notable that there is need to connect Lamu County with the existing rail in Mombasa port. This is in a bid to promote inter-County trading but also to realize the economic gains of product export as Lamu County has a lot to offer the world.


  1. Construction of Elain drainage at Boznia in Lamu
  2. Routine maintenance work at Majembeni-Sinambio Road in mpeketoni
  3. Construction of Witu town drainage and cabro
  4. Construction of Kipungani sea wall
  5. Construction and repair of Myabogi footbridge
  6. Laying of paving blocks {cabro} at Lamu West and East

Markets and Urban Centres

The county has two main markets, namely Lamu Town and Mpeketoni Central. Lamu Town which is the main urban centre is famous for its rich cultural activities and a world heritage site. Mpeketoni Central is famous for trading and agricultural activities. There are several other trading centres located along the road which include the following; Mokowe, Hindi, Hongwe, Bomani, Majembeni, Kiongwe, Baharini, Mapenya, Mkunumbi, Uziwa, Faza, Kizingitini, Pate, Siyu, Kiunga, Mkokoni, Mhamarani, Katsakairu, Witu and Moa.


Housing conditions in the County are characterized by inadequate modern sanitary facilities and limited connection to piped water with exception of Lamu Old Town and Mpeketoni.
Achievements: Planning & Urban Development

  • Planning, Survey & Regularisation of:
  • Mokowe Town
  • Faza Village
  • Tchundwa Village
  • Hindi Phase II (Swahili Scheme)
  • Ras Kitau Farms
  • Bargoni Village
  • Sinambio Trading Centre
  • Kiongwe Village
  • Kiunga Village
  • Pate Village
  • Kipungani village
  • Ishakani Settlement Village
  • Rubu & Mwambore Village
  • Squatters in Amu Ranch

Mean Holding Size

The size of arable land in the county is 5,517 Km2 and non arable land is 649.7 Km2 and 308 Km² is under water mass. A sizeable number of people living in the peri-urban areas of the county practice subsistence small scale farming and livestock keeping. Land ownership for agricultural and livestock remains a thorny issue in the county as most of the farmers do not legally own the lands they cultivate.

Percentage of land with title deeds

The number of the households who have title deeds stand at 13,000. This, therefore, means that 42 percent of the entire households in the county have titles. Majority of the households in the county have no title deeds.
Incidence of Landlessness

A large portion of land in the county remains unregistered. These include areas in Kiunga, Faza, parts of Hindi, Manda Island, Witu and Bahari. Most of these areas are ancestral land and the government is hastening the process of resettlement whose aim is to also conserve the Swahili villages in the county. A large portion of land set aside for ranch purposes still remains idle, under stocked and some of it is not in us

Public Service Management and Administration

The Lamu County PSB main aim is to provide comprehensive employment services, foster harmonious labour relations, promote and safeguard employees’ rights and benefits as well as safe working environment.
Employment is the key to people’s livelihood; thus, free and efficient employment assistance is essential to improve efficiency; our key focus in this website is the county PSB employment portal.
Selection to positions within the Lamu County Public Service is based on the principles of appointment on merit and the provision of equal employment opportunity.
The appointment of employees is made on the basis of the individual capacity of the person having particular regard to the knowledge, skills, qualifications, experience and potential for future development of that person in their employment.

The department has the following mandate

  • Establishing and abolishing offices in its Public Service,
  • appointing persons to hold or act in those offices and confirming appointments and
  • exercising disciplinary control over
  • removing persons holding or acting in those offices.

Finance, Budget, Strategy and Economic Planning

Lamu County Government recognizes the importance of transparency and accountability as being not only necessary for good governance but also for efficient and effective utilization of resources. The department of Finance, Strategy and Economic Planning play a key role in the County Government as a whole. The department therefore resolved in making their operations more open to the public and encourages transparency and accountability. In its operation, the department strive to maximize in its commitment to service delivery, putting in consideration the resource constraints.
Lamu County Government, like any other governmental institution, aim in maximizing in its commitment to service delivery to the public at the constraints of the resources. The poverty level at the County and the infrastructure hinder development in the County. The Government responsibilities and the public expectations surpass the Budget estimates and provisions. The local revenue collection on the other hand, is a big challenge to the County. The challenge is in the bid to increase revenue and to seal corruption loopholes in revenue collection. The improvement of revenue collection throughout the County is a priority to the Department of Finance, Strategy and Economic Planning. In this regard, the department finds the need to introduce e-revenue collection system.


  • Step up efforts on tax administration and mobilization of revenue to eliminate leakages
  • Envisage to observe timelines as enshrined in the Public Finance Management Act 2012
  • Increase revenue collection through addressing the issue of casual revenue collectors, enhanced supervision and automating revenue collecting.
  • Rationalize and even cut some expenditures so as to increase growth

Education Technology, Youth Affairs, Sports, Gender and Social Services.

Pre- School Education (Early Childhood Development Education)

There are 203 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centres/classes in Lamu County, 63 of which were constructed by the County Government of Lamu. There are also 3 special needs pre-schools namely: Tchundwa Special Unit for Mentally Handicapped; Mokowe Arid Zone for Hearing Impairment; and Mokowe Special School for the Mentally Handicapped. The county has also purchased and distributed chairs, tables, book shelves and outdoor play equipment for the ECDE centres. So far, there are about 13,000 pupils enrolled in all the ECDE centres. There are 478 teachers giving a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:27 (1
teacher: 27 pupils). The transition rate from pre-school to primary is very high (98%). The completion rand retention rate stands at 99%.

Tertiary Education

Lamu County provides adult education in the following programmes: basic literacy, adult continuing education primary and adult continuing education secondary with an enrolment of 819 both male and female learners. There are 2 community learning resource centres in the
county namely: Mpeketoni and Kilimani Community Learning Resource Centres. There are 3 satellite campuses in Lamu County: Technical University of Mombasa, Kenya Medical Training College and Kenya Institute of Professionals Studies. There 6 Vocational Training Centres in Lamu County at Lamu, Mokowe, Witu, Mpeketoni, Kizingitini and Kiunga. The county has also constructed classrooms, workshops, toilets and playing grounds and
administration blocks. The courses offered are carpentry and joinery, masonry, plumbing, electrical installation, welding, ICT, fashion and design, motor vehicle mechanic and beauty therapy. There are 1,225 (male 746, female 479) students and 25 tutors. The ratio is 1:50.

Education Department Responsibilities

  • The department comprises Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) Village Polytechnics, Gender, Sports, Youth Affairs and Social Services.
  • In ECDE the county is in charge of infrastructure development, manpower needs(teachers) and teaching/learning materials.
  • In village polytechnics, the county is responsible of infrastructure and tools/ equipment for the institutions.
  • The instructors for these institutions as well as the curriculum offered is the preserve of the county.

In sports, it is the responsibility of the county to promote all kinds of sporting activities so as to address the needs of the youth in the county. Talent development and talent identification is also the responsibility of the county.
The county is charged with the responsibility of advocacy in the field of Gender, Youth Affairs and Social Services in order to empower the Youth and Women in this county socio- economically. The county will address gender discrepancy in various aspects in the county and make deliberate effort to bring parity. The county will provide forums or programmes that will enable women and the youth to participate in political, economic and social activities e.g. peace building, youth and women enterprise fund.
The department also provide information on bursaries and scholarships to those in need. It is also responsible for the promotion of education standards in the county.

  • 60 ECDs built in all 10 wards – The county government of Lamu has constructed over 60 new ECD classrooms in all the 10 wards enabling pupils to learn in conducive environment. •Issuance of scholarships to all pupils who score 300 marks and above in KCPE and bursaries to all applicants in the county.
  • 59 ECDs teachers have been deployed.
  • Issued common syllabus and resource materials to all ECDs
  • Sponsoring common exam for class 7 & 8 and forms 3 & 4
  • Academic achievers: Bright students are introduced to mentors to enhance their performance.
  • Sponsored primary and secondary teachers training as national examiners.
  • Sponsored department on quality assurance.
  • Signed memorandum with Aga Khan foundation, GIZ, NACONEK (National Council for Nomadic Kenya) under social economic empowerment program for youth to impact skills which will result to self reliance.
  • Sponsored 139 youth into tertiary courses like plumbing, electrical, building and constructions thus empowering them to get jobs.

Trade, Tourism & Industrialization

Lamu County’s Department of Trade, Investment, Local and International Funds/Resource Mobilisation, Culture and Tourism consist of three sectors: Trade and Investment, Tourism, and Culture and Arts. In order to have a delicate balance of the three, the vision is to make Lamu a globally competitive and sustainable economy, renowned for heritage and cultural preservation. This concept note serves to highlight the priority projects that are included in Lamu County’s Integrated Development plan.

Objectives of the department

  • Promoting Trade and Investment
  • Preserving and Promoting Arts and Culture
  • Trade and investment


Lamu County is undeniably Kenya’s top destination as it prides itself with some of the richest marine ecology, terrestrial wildlife, pristine beaches, and one of the oldest cultural heritage in Kenya, dating back to the 14th century. Tourists are accommodated over 200 hotels with a bed capacity of almost 2,000. This is however inadequate and is too restricted to holiday resorts with very few lodges, and conference facilities. Investment opportunities in the tourism sector are vast as the local tourism, business tourism, and wildlife safari markets are yet to be fully exploited.
Other opportunities that are available are tour operations, eco-tourism, establishment of cruise ships destinations and much more. With its 130 km of sandy beach coastline and diverse tourist attractions, this sector has huge potential for growth, if effective marketing is done.

Achievements: Trade, Tourism And Cultural

  • Construction of Mpeketoni market
  • Establishment of the “Lamu Island of Festivals” brand
  • Rehabilitation of Siu fort
  • Establishment of Tourism police and information office
  • Training stakeholders in the Tourism Industry
  • Participation in Magical Kenya Expo
  • Contruction of Hindi Market
  • Contruction of Witu market
  • Contruction of Kibaoni market
  • Contruction of Majembeni market
  • Contruction of Hongwe market
  • Construction of modern market – Bahari ward
  • Rehabiitation of Lamu town market
  • Development and securing of open air markets
  • Cultural Development Programme – Festivals
  • Establishment of Art and Cultural Centre – Siyu
  • Fencing of Lake Amu Jua kali
  • Rebranding and Marketing Lamu
  • Training and equipping of Local artists
  • Preservation of sites and museums

Health Access and Nutrition

Access to Health Services

Lamu County is served by 45 health facilities of which 3 are referral hospitals, 4 health centers, 29 dispensaries, one nursing home and eight private clinics. The bed capacity in the health facilities stands at 172 with 145 beds in public facilities, 14 in mission/Non-governmental Organizations and 13 beds in private health facilitiesThere are currently 18 medical doctors making a doctor population ratio of 1:7000, 48 clinical officers, clinical officer population ratio of 1:2800 and 158
The STEPS Survey 2015 showed that the prevalence of overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m2) and obesity (BMI>=30) among adults 15-69 years was high, especially among women. It reported that 17.5% of men and 38.4% of women were either overweight (BMI 25-29.9) or obese (BMI 30 or higher), and 13.7% of women and 4.3% of men were obese. According to Lamu Smart survey (2017), 2.4% of children aged below five years are overweight. The
KDHS 2014 estimated a stunting rate for children below five years of 29%, wasting rate of 4% and 11% were underweight compared to the national average of 26%, 4% and 11% respectively.

Immunization Coverage

Immunization coverage measures access and utilization of the services by the population. The national end target for fully immunized children is 90% but Lamu County has observed a declining trend. Immunization coverage was high with about 92% of infants being fully immunized in 2014/2015 and went down to 84% in 2015/2016 and declined further to 77% in 2016/2017. The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014 estimated a fully immunized coverage of 64%. The declining trend has been occasioned by frequent breakdown of cold chain equipment coupled with insecurity and industrial actions by health care workers which disrupt service delivery. This calls for renewed efforts to improve coverage such as defaulter tracing, program monitoring and integrated outreaches in hard to reach areas of the county.

Last Update: November 25, 2021
November 24, 2021 340 DEBORAHLamu County
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