Nyamira County

Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries

Main crops produced
Nyamira County‘s economy relies heavily on Agriculture with over 80% of population depending directly or indirectly on agriculture. The performance of Agriculture Sector is thus very critical in influencing the overall economic growth and development of the County. Since the advent of devolution, the County government has put in various measures and interventions to improve the sector. Partnering with National Government and key
Stakeholders in the Agriculture Sub sector has been embraced and this has contributed to our overall achievements in the past five years. Despite the afore mentioned interventions, there still exists huge potential to grow the Sector; with special focus on Value addition & Agribusiness (cottage industry), Pest & disease control, Soil fertility improvement ,intensive crop production systems, address climate & Agriculture , Agricultural financing & credit access, support to extension services provision ,Food & nutrition security initiatives and soil
and water conservation programs.

Main livestock breeds and facilities
Livestock production

The main livestock bred in the County are; cattle, goats, sheep, donkeys, poultry, rabbits and bee keeping. Dairy farming under zero grazing is gaining popularity due to diminishing land size, conducive weather conditions and ready market for milk. Though the County is self-sufficient in milk there is a lot of potential for developing dairy farming into an export enterprise. Beef farming is not feasible in Nyamira County due to the small land sizes which can‘t sustain ranching. Therefore slaughter stock is mainly sourced from neighbouring counties. Dairy goats are being popularized by the county through issuance to vulnerable individuals. The county intends to increase the number of dairy goats to reach more of such individuals. Indigenous goats are mainly for chevon (goat meat) though they do not satisfy the demand by residents and therefore the county imports most of the goats for slaughter. There are no wool sheep in Nyamira County. All the available sheep are for meat (mutton).

To promote Aquaculture production and fisheries development, the county targeted to support a total of 2000 new fish ponds for period of five years (five year plan) at a rate of 20 fish ponds per ward per year. A total of 960 fish farming ponds have been stocked with a total of 960,000 certified fish seeds/fingerlings. Fish stocked were Nile Tilapia (Oreochromisniloticus) and African Cat fish (Clariasgariepinus) at a ratio of 9:1. Fish farmers were also supported with initial supplementary fish feeds of 5 bags per fish pond with each bag weighing 20 Kgs against
a target of 10 bags per fish pond. In order to ensure timely harvesting of ready mature fish from the ponds, the directorate targeted to support fish farmers with a total of 10 fish harvesting pond seine nets per ward. Fish farmers have been supported with a total of 60 pond harvesting seine nets.

Apiculture (bee keeping)
Bee keeping is one of the value chains that is gaining popularity with farmers in the County.
Over the last five years, the County has promoted apiculture and as result has seen farmer
record improved yields per hive. The number of farmers demanding and sourcing for modern
hives has also grown over the past five years.

Education and Vocational Training

This section provides an overview of the status of education in Nyamira County. It includes information on pre-school education, primary education, Literacy levels, Secondary education and tertiary education. (UNICEF, 2012) defines education as the process of facilitatinglearning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Cognitive skills isthe ability and capacity acquired through deliberate, systematic, and sustained effort to  smoothly and adaptively carryout complex activities or job functions involving ideas (UNESCO,2014). Literacy is contemporary meant as the ability to read and write. The National Literacy Trust (2012) defines literacy as the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create,communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Infrastructures are the fundamental facilities and systems serving an organization that are necessary for its economy to function.

About 51 percent of the male and 41percent (Census Report 2009) female of Nyamira county citizens are literate. This is attributed to free primary education and the recently introduced subsidized secondary education. Further still the county government assist needy students through the county bursary fund. However, low awareness on the importance of education, inadequate special needs education facilities, inadequate staffing levels, infrastructural development and insufficient funding are the major challenges affecting this sector. Information on education enrolment by class for Pre-primary (ECDE), Primary, Secondary and technical, middle colleges are given in the table below. The table indicate that there are more male in Pre-school enrolment as compared to female. Comparatively, females are more than males in Primary school and tertiary institutions.

Pre- School Education (Early Childhood Development Education)
The population that had reached pre-school age as of 2012 was projected at 96,660 (Boys 48,999, Girls 47,661). Pre-school education is intended to impart basic reading and writing skills to the pupils. It prepares the child for primary school life.

Primary Education
The county has made remarkable progress in increasing access to primary education. This is due to introduction of free primary education. Through funds such as the CDF and LATF, new classes have been built, new schools established and old buildings in some schools have been rehabilitated. However, due to inadequate funding, most schools in the county have poor infrastructure.

Non formal Education
Non formal education is any educational activity outside the formal education system. In the County, there exist flexible, learner centered, contextualized learning that is participatory in approach. There is no specific target group but it targets children, youths and adults across the county .e.g. training of young girls on morals to qualify them to adulthood. Some of the places used as social halls is Manga Social Hall in Manga Sub-County.

Youth polytechnics
The Youth Polytechnics also referred to as Vocational Education and Training (VET) has increased in number since the county government took over from the national government as shown in the table below. Major challenge with these centres is lack of enough and appropriate training facilities and staffing which has contributed to low enrolment.

Secondary Education
By 2012 the population that had reached secondary schools stood at 43,305 (Boys 21,810, Girls 21,495). The number has since increased to 52,309. A major leading factor of enrolment in secondary level is the mismatch of growth in the number of secondary schools compared to that of primary schools. With the introduction of free day secondary education, the demand of secondary school students has since increased especially in urban areas. There is therefore need to develop strategies aimed at improving secondary school physical infrastructure and human resource. Transition rate at this level is 85 percent, gross enrolment of 67 percent, net enrolment of 55 percent, dropout rate of 15 percent, teacher pupil ratio of 1:31, retention rate of 88.5 percent and completion rate of 85percent.

Tertiary Education
The county has experienced a substantial growth in the tertiary education. The county urban centers (Nyamira and Keroka towns) have experienced the opening of satellite university campuses to meet the high demand for university education. The county has no fully fledged university. There are 3 public technical training institutions, no special teachers training institutions, 34 youth polytechnics and 8 accredited private colleges. Only 25,610 and 15,376 male and female respectively had attained tertiary education as of 2009 Population and Housing census. This comprises of 60 percent male and 40 percent female.

Adult and Continuing Education
The table below shows the distribution ACE per sub-county as at September 2017. There was
no enrolment in secondary schools.
The following challenges were encountered during the Adult Continuing education

  • An ageing and dwindling teaching staff.
  • Unsuitable infrastructure-classrooms and infrastructure
  • Lack of facilities to start adult Secondary Education.
  • Limited monitoring and evaluation due to underfunding.

Technical, Vocational Education and Training
Vocational training is training for a particular career or trade, excluding the profession. It focuses on practical applications of skills learned. Therefore TVET is education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment. It uses formal, non-formal and informal learning.

TVET is recognized be a crucial vehicle for social equity, inclusion and sustainable development. Both the national and county governments have emphasized on the importance of vocational training by allocating necessary resources towards training. To this end, the National Government has built a technical institute in every constituency in the country while the county government has provided support to the County Polytechnics. The governments provide bursaries and scholarships to technical students especially to females and vulnerable

Major reasons for the government allocating resources towards vocational training are to ensure youths acquire entrepreneurial and technical skills necessary for self-employment as is enshrined in vision 2030. To this end the county has three operational Technical Training Institutes in the county and one under construction. These institutions are run the national government.

Land, Housing and Urban Development

Land ownership categories/ classification
There are three types of Land Tenure in Kenya as outline in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010; Freehold land which allows the owners to hold the land for an indefinite term. More than 70% of land in Nyamira County is freehold; Leasehold term which confers upon the owner a limited term which can be extended upon expiry. The Constitution therefore limits the tenure for non- citizens to no more than 99 years. Most of leasehold land is contained on urban areas, market centres and the settlements schemes in Borabu sub- County. The public land tenure system which describes a tenure type in which the government is the private land owners and hold
land in trust for the citizens of Kenya. There is less than 10 % of public land in the County spread across all sub-counties

Percentage of land with title deeds
All land in Nyamira County is adjudicated. The County has in the recent past experienced high rate of land subdivisions. This subdivision of land to uneconomical units has compromised the potential of the County to adequately engage in sustainable agribusiness activities. Going forward, in collaboration with development partners, the county should consider concentrating its populace in urban areas so that there is ample space to practice agriculture. Freehold land ownership rights in most parts of Nyamira County are held at extended family level. A family title is held in the name of great grandparents. This provides succession challenges, land management and administration.

Housing: Types
Nyamira County has both permanent and semi-permanent dwelling premises. The most common type of houses are those with roofs constructed of corrugated iron sheets comprising 118,170 of the households. Among them are those with stone walls comprising 31,898 households and those with walls constructed of mud/wood comprising 110,335 households. Further, the houses for 35,283 households have cemented floor while 119,969 have earthen floor. The semi-permanent dwelling premises are a common feature in the rural areas settlement. This shortcoming needs to be addressed in order to ensure the provision of affordable modern housing that promote healthy living. The government has provided housing for civil servants, with only 67 for the lower grade, 203 of the medium grade of which majority are police institutional houses and only 20 of the higher grade. This calls for efforts by the government to secure land and engage in public private partnerships to accommodate most
civil servants within the county for effective service delivery.

Environment, Water, Energy, Mining and Natural Resources

Major degraded areas / hotspots and major contributions to environmental

Environmental degradation in Nyamira County is mainly a result of unsuitable farming methods, effects of climate change, poor solid waste management, soil erosion, inadequate sanitary facilities, cultural practices, massive cutting down of trees for firewood, timber and to clear land for agricultural use, poor physical planning in urban areas, quarrying activities, pollution and Effluents from agro-chemicals and alien and invasive species.

Environmental threats

Cultivation of land up to the river bank has resulted to surface soil erosion particularly the top
soil into Lake Victoria. This leads to reduction of soil nutrients and hence low agricultural productivity. Quarrying activities lead to blockage of water ways, siltation in addition to threatening human safety especially when the quarry sites are left open and without perimeter fence. Lack of affordable housing in the major towns in the county has led to mushrooming of slums in these urban areas. This phenomena further cause brings in the challenge of poor sanitation and management of both solid waste and liquid waste.

Water resources
Nyamira County is endowed with natural water resources, namely, rivers, shallow wells, springs, dams, pans and boreholes. The water resources availability varies significantly between seasons as well as across regions. The resources are plenty during the rainy season and scarce during the dry periods. Most parts of the county have two rainy seasons. The long rains are typically from March to May while short rains are typically from October to November without distinct dry spell. The county has 7 major permanent rivers namely Sondu, Gucha, Charachani, Kemera, Eaka, Nyabomite and Menyenya. They all drain their water into
L. Victoria.

Water supply schemes
The development of water supply schemes is key in enhancing access to safe water for drinking, livestock, agricultural and commercial purposes to a larger population given that Nyamira is endowed with several permanent streams and rivers. The county has put in place strategies focusing on protecting and rehabilitating the existing water source as well as starting new ones in order to reduce the distance to the nearest water point to less than 0.5 Km.

Mining Activities of Quarrying and Brick making:
Promote sustainable mining activities in line with the developed environmental standards and to promote, adoption of efficient and appropriate technologies in mining for economic gain: Base line survey was carried out to establish the degradation levels and number of sites were identified.

Energy access
Firewood is the main source of energy for cooking in the county with 48 percent of the population using it, while gas (LPG) constitutes 22 %. Currently electricity coverage is 49.5 % with about 80,000 connections. These are mainly in towns and markets within the county. However most rural households (57 %) use paraffin as source of lighting. Other sources of energies exploited include home solar and solar powered street lighting which constitute 5 %.

Finance and Planning

Finance and Planning has the following main functions for the County Government:-

  1. Acquisition of funds for the County Government by establishing:

(a) Strong revenue collection channels within the county

(b) Requesting on behalf of the County Government, the National Treasury allocation

(c) Reaching out for investors and development partners.

  1. Management of funds and planning for expenditure of the funds on various activities.
  2. Management of financial resources, recording and reporting all its transactions (accounting).
  3. Management of the daily cash flows.
  4. Management of the accounts receivables (debtors) and payables (suppliers).
  5. Management and remittance to regulatory authorities’ taxes from individual employees and other organizations.
  6. Procuring of goods, works and services on behalf of the County Government’s departments
  7. Maintenance of Pre-qualified list of suppliers of goods, works and services.
  8. Management of fixed assets by keeping a record of all the County Government fixed assets inventory.
  9. Preparation of monthly and quarterly expenditure reports for submission to National Treasury and other regulatory bodies.
  10. Generation of annual financial statements in accordance to the generally acceptable accounting principles.

Gender, Youth, Sports and Cultural Services

Museums, Heritage and Cultural sites
The county has major and renowned heritage sites however no museum development has taken place. Among the major sites is the historical Manga ridge which has over 200 acres of trust land overlooking Kisii town. The place has a rich heritage according to local folklore.

The place has a historical building- called Manga Baraza built in 1957.This building was put up for administrative purpose for colonial masters. It is earmarked for a museum to house the rich cultural expressions among the Abagusii.

There are caves on the eastern edge of the ridge which were used for hiding and taking refuge during conflicts and were also human dwellings where Kipsigis fought with Abagusii. Local legend has it that the last major conflict between the Gusii and Kipsigis was fought there and the Kipsigis suffered a major defeat.

Talent Academies
Nyamira County is endowed with talents in sports, dance, music, drama and creative arts. To address the above, the County has established a talent academy at Kiendege High school in Manga Sub- County for tapping, nurturing and developing talents among the youth. Since its establishment, a number of students have been able to participate al local, national and international levels in athletics. In 2017 one student Samson Ndigiti participated in the10, 000 metres walk for under 18 world championship in Nairobi, Kenya and attained position three (3) internationally.

Sports facilities
The County is developing two stadia at Manga and Nyamaiya (Nyamira south) Sub-counties. The stadia will house facilities for Athletics, volleyball, netball, basketball, and a swimming pool. The facility at Manga is at 20% completion and Nyamaiya is at tendering stage as at 5-3- 2018. Every school in the county has a playground that is not to standard. The County has high altitude suitable for training and sports tourism.

Registered traditional herbalists and medicine-men
Most people in the county in one way or another have and are using herbal medicine since time immemorial and have a positive outlook, towards it. The way forward to help change the situation is to create, awareness on the importance of registration so as to regulate the sector. There is need to encourage modern ways of administration of the herbal sector (packaging, testing, dosage and hygiene). The county has several unregistered herbalists practicing but the only registered group which has a national outlook is NATHEPA (National African Traditional Herbalists Practitioners Association. Most of those who practice the trade do it individually and at household level.

Health Services

Health access and nutrition
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 provides for the right to the highest attainable standards of health to every Kenyan, and places a fundamental duty on the State to take legislative, policy and other measures, including the setting of standards, to achieve progressive realization of the rights set out under Article 43. These constitutional provisions determine the roles and obligations of the health sector to facilitate progressive realization by all to the right to health. In 2013, health service delivery and its management were devolved to counties with the respective functions.

The Nyamira County department of health services administratively have three directorates namely; Medical services, Preventive and Promotive health services and Administration, health human resource and finance. Since 2013 the department has significantly invested in development and improvement of health infrastructure in order to improve access to essential health services. Currently there are a total of 145 health care facilities up from 122 in 2013. The distribution and ownership of the facilities are shown in table 1 below. The average distance to the nearest health facility has marginally reduced to 5km currently compared to 7km in 2013. The community health services faces challenges with only 85 out of the 143 (59.4%) anticipated Community Health Units required in place with only 11.7% being functional due inadequate resources (DHIS2, 2017).

Nutritional status

Nyamira like many other rural parts of the world children living in rural areas and those from poorer households are more likely to be malnourished (KDHS 2014). In addition the proportion of wasted and underweight children is negatively correlated with the level of education, wealth and nutrition status of the mother. High impact nutrition interventions (HINI) such as: Exclusive breastfeeding can prevent 13% of childhood deaths, appropriate
complementary feeding can prevent 6%, Zinc supplementation during diarrhoea can prevent 5% of deaths and Vitamin A supplementation prevent 2% deaths. These interventions have a potential increase on GDP of 2-3% Weight-for-age denoting underweight is a measure of both acute and chronic malnutrition in Nyamira 9.6% (KDHS 2014) of children less than five years compared to 12.9% (MICS, 2012) were underweight which shows a slight decrease in underweight.

Public Service Management

The department has the following mandate:

  • Leveraging Public participation and civic education in the County
  • Administration of the sub-counties, wards and village units
  • Support county entities human resource Management and development of the County public service
  • Institutionalize Public service reforms and performance management
  • Coordination of  Public communication and relations
  • Offering Intergovernmental secretariat services

Overall county performance
For the current strategic plan, performance will be taken to be composed of effectiveness, efficiency and relevance. These components will be used to diagnose the overall department performance.
i)    Effectiveness
The effectiveness of the department is measured by the degree to which the department is moving toward attainment of its mission and realizing its goals. The mission statement and other documents provide reason for existence of the department. The effectiveness indicators used by the department include, quality of services and programmes, growth indicators in terms of coverage of programmes, services, clients and funding.
ii)    Efficiency 
The members of staff in the department are used to the best of their abilities and optimal use is made of financial resources. Timeliness of service delivery, employee absenteeism and turnover rates, cost per program, cost per client and cost-benefit of a program are the key efficiency indicators used by the department
iii)    Relevance 
The department recognizes the need for regular revisions of service delivery innovations reflecting changing environments and capacities, creates or adapts to new technologies and monitors it reputation.

Trade, Tourism and Cooperative Development

Industry and trade

In the county, the markets are managed by market committees who manage the market on daily basis. The main activities that take place in these markets include cereals sales, fruits and other vegetable, livestock trade. Currently the department is working on securing and developing the markets, this will enhance revenue collection for the department and increase sanity. There are 54 gazetted markets (open air markets), whole/retail shops, hospitality and cyber café however 34 markets are active. The markets include open air, retail, wholesale and others; the department needs to develop infrastructural amenities such as road network, lighting, provision
of water, waste management and modern shades and stalls.

Major industries
Nyamira is a major tea growing zone from which a huge population derives their livelihood in terms of direct income from tea sales and employment formally and informally. Hence there is need to develop the sector in order for farmers to earn the value of their money through value addition and marketing. The county has several tea processing factories which include, six Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) owned factories, one privately owned (Mogeni Tea) in Nyamira North, and a number of Multinational tea estate owned factories. There is need to develop regulation on tea hawking in order to protect the farmers from exploitation. The population of tea bushes in the county is 131,183,524 which a substantial forest coverage within the county. The average tea production for the last five years in the county is 13,461,800kgs earning the farmers an average of Ksh.40 per kg including bonuses.

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME)
There are small businesses which operates with the least capital and number of employees, usually within a small geographical area to provide services or goods for their community.The 2016 National MSME survey says that there is a total of 35,700 licenced and 62,700 unlicensed MSMEs in Nyamira County. There is need to strengthen MSME to drive the County‘s development agenda.

Cooperative Societies
Co-operative societies provide an institutional framework through which problems of basic human needs can be met. They also contribute in significant ways to eradicating poverty, direct and indirect employment, mitigating the problem of financial leakages like repatriation of funds and other remittances abroad, ensuring environmental sustainability. Cooperatives offer enormous potential for delivering growth by providing opportunities and empowering the vulnerable to participate in the development process. Indeed a sizeable population of Nyamira County derives its livelihood directly or indirectly through co-operative based activities. Cooperatives are also important partners in the implementation of the government programmes aimed at economic and social transformation. It is for these reasons that the County government has sought to create an enabling environment for genuine cooperatives to develop
and thrive.

Transport, Roads and Public Works

The general condition of road network in the County is considered fair. However, sections of  Borabu Constituency are poor owing to the black cotton soil. The road network within urban  centres is not well developed. A lot of the county roads have been encroached upon by people carrying out economic activities. Nyamira County has 54 market centres and each of the market has provision for bus parks. Currently Nyamira town, Keroka town, Ekerenyo and Ikonge bus parks have been upgraded but not well developed. Other markets require development of bus parks. Currently there is no rail transport and there is land designated for Air strip but not developed in Nyamira County. Equally the County does not have ports and jetties.



Last Update: November 30, 2021
November 30, 2021 604 DEBORAHNyamira County
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