Health Access and Nutrition
There are currently 207 health facilities of which 73 of these are public health facilities. There is a County referral hospital; J.M. Memorial Hospital, a County hospital Engineer and one faith-based hospital N. Kinangop Catholic Hospital. The County has a total of 781 health personnel. The doctor population ratio is 1:35,750; nurse population ratio is 5:3 per 10,000 a staff population ratio of 11:10,000 (the WHO recommended ratio is 23:10,000). The bed capacity is 486.The average distance to the nearest public health facility is 3.7 Km; recommended 5 Km (WHO). In some areas of the County, access is hindered by geographical barriers. The average distance to the nearest health centre is 3.2 km. In the County, 21 % of the households travel up to one kilometre to access health service, 78 % travel between 1.1 km and 4.9 km while those who travel above five kilometres account for 1 % of the population. Of major concern is that only 15% of the total population in Nyandarua County use mosquito bed nets. This needs to be improved through creating public awareness to the residents.
There are 2 Government hospitals, 1 mission hospital, 26 health centres, 45 dispensaries, 7 mission dispensaries, 125 private clinics and 69 community units.
Morbidity: Five Most Common Diseases in Order of Prevalence
The average morbidity rate for the County is 21.2 % with the male morbidity rate at 19.2 % and
female morbidity rate at 23.4 %. Most of these diseases are bacterial infections that can be prevented through proper clothing, appropriate beddings, water treatment and hand washing.
Prevalence of stunting and wasting in children under 5 years
Stunting (low height for age) is the chronic restriction of a child’s potential growth. Twenty-nine
per cent (29%) of children less than five years old in the County are stunted, three percentage points higher than the national average. On the other hand, 7% of the children are either underweight or overweight. The prevalence of wasting among the under-fives is 2%. The main causes of malnutrition in the County includepoor maternal, infant and young child feeding and breast-feeding practices. Only 37.4 per cent of children aged 6 to 23 months receive adequate dietary diversity and meal frequency. Micronutrient deficiencies are widespread among the children. Maternal anaemia is also a major determinant of child growth. Only 6% of pregnant women receive the recommended 90 or more doses of iron/folate supplements.
The immunisation coverage stands at 85.3% of the children in the entire County. There is, however, marked variation with some areas recording lower coverage. Some families do not take their children for immunisation due to religious beliefs or out of ignorance. This has led to prevalence of communicable diseases which could have been prevented. Immunisation can be improved through proper sensitisation to overcome the religious beliefs hampering immunization.
Transport, Energy and Public Works
A good transport system is necessary for easing the mobility of raw materials, labour, goods and
services thus promoting economic development and inter-regional competitiveness. There are three main modes of transport in Nyandarua County, namely road, railway and air transport; road transport is by far the dominant mode.
Road transport is the primary mode of transportation in Nyandarua County, with a total road length of APproximately 3,400 kilometres. Earth roads account for 78% of the total road network, while bitumen roads constitute only about 7%, which indicates that there are challenges of mobility within the County.
Parking and terminal facilities
Nyandarua County has minimal designated parking spaces in all major urban centres. Parking in undesignated areas is common in rural areas, and the small urban centres. Most of the urban centres are served by terminal facilities. However, the level of utilisation is low due to lack of demand for transportation services. The table below is a summary of the existing terminal facilities. There are 7 major bus parks located in Ndaragwa, Mairo-Inya, Ol’Kalou, Miharati, Engineer, Njabini and Flyover that act as centres for transport and communication for the population and cargo and have a multiplier effect on development.
There is a 60 kms long metre gauge rail connecting Gilgil to Nyahururu that passes through the Nyandarua County with stations in Ol’Kalou and Ol’Joro Orok. Currently, the railway line, which was constructed in 1927, is in disuse and some of its infrastructure have been vandalised. It was constructed to transport milk, livestock, wool and cereals from Nyandarua and Laikipia to the rest of Kenya. The railway line collapsed due to the failure of KCC as the Nyahururu plant used to be the main client; increased tariffs and low turn-around period has diverted clients to use roads; and inbreeding of sheep resulted in a decline in wool production.
The gaps within counties in terms of access to electricity for lighting are enormous. In most counties (29 out of 47), the gap between the Ward with the most access to electricity and the least access is more than 40 percentage points. Just 1% of residents in Nyandarua County use liquefied petroleumgas (LPG), while 1% use paraffin, 78% use firewood and 19% use charcoal. The most common cooking fuel, therefore, is firewood. Kipipiri Constituency has the highest level of use of firewood at 86%. This is 12 percentage points above Kinangop Constituency, which has the lowest share at 74% and 8 percentage points below the County average. Geta Ward has the highest level of use of firewood in Nyandarua County at 85%.
Ol’Joro Orok and Kinangop constituencies have the highest level of charcoal use in Nyandarua County at 23% each. This is 11 percentage points above Kipipiri Constituency, which has the lowest share at 12%. Gatimu Ward has the highest level of charcoal use in Nyandarua County at 50%. A total of 11% of Nyandarua residents use electricity as their main source of lighting. A further 56% use lanterns and 26% use tin lamps. Less than 1% use fuel wood. The most common lighting source among male headed households is lanterns at 56% and the same holds for female headed households at 55%.
Water, environment, Tourism and Natural Resources
Water Resources and Quality
The County is categorised as water scarce. The situation has been aggravated by degradation of water catchments leading to reduced ground water recharge. As a result, boreholes have medium to low yields. The main source of water in the County is rainwater which ends up in dams and rivers.
A total of 22 rivers flow through Nyandarua County, of which eight are permanent, namely Malewa, Ewaso Narok, Pesi, Turasha, Chania, Kiburu, Mkungi and Kitiri. Lake Ol’Bolosat, which is the only lake and the largest water mass in the County, is fed by streams and groundwater seepage from the Aberdare and Dundori hills. Human activities and clearance of the catchment areas for settlement have affected its natural replenishment system.
The major rivers within the County originate in the Aberdare forest and drain to the Ewaso Ng’iro, Rift Va lley, Tana and Athi catchments.
Major Degraded Areas/Hotspots and Contributors to Environmental Degradation
There are several contributors to environment degradation in the County. These include: degradation of Lake Ol’Bolosat due to encroachment and pollution from human settlements and agricultural activities; increased quarrying activities which have caused loss of vegetation cover and topsoil making topsoil vulnerable to erosion; threats to forests due to excessive logging, charcoal production, cultivation, settlement, and forest fires; blocking of natural waterways by farmers resulting in increased volumes of water in fewer waterways leading to increased erosion and flooding; and poor waste management, both liquid and solid waste.
There are environmentally-sensitive areas which play a critical role in nature where they serve as
habitats to a wide range of species. They also aid in absorption of natural pollution, i.e., carbon sinks. Such areas are invaluable and require conservation. They include: riparian reserves, lakes, wetlands, forests and open/green spaces in urban areas. The main ecologically sensitive areas in Nyandarua County are: Lake Ol’Bolosat, The Malewa river ecosystem, Kinja River, Nyairoko River (which has a wetland along its course), Aberdare Forest and Ndaragwa Forest. Other forests are Ol’Bolosat, Geta, North Kinangop and South Kinangop.
Main Tourist Attractions and Activities
Although the County is within the Mt Kenya and Aberdare Ranges tourist circuits, tourism remains undeveloped. The County is richly endowed with abundant game for tourist attraction. The main tourist attraction sites include: the Aberdare National Park which has abundant wildlife and recreational activities including mountain climbing and nature trails; Lake Ol’Bolosat which is ideal for bird and hippos watching, boating, water surfing activities and sport fishing; pre-colonial and colonial times settlements where there exist “White Mischief Happy Valley Homes” at the foot of the Aberdare forest where the colonialists lived; the Mau Mau caves at Geta and Kimathi which some Community Based Organisations have endeavoured to preserve; and other attractions including scenic terrains, waterfalls, rivers and forests.
Public Administration, and ICT
Information, Communications Technology
The County is well served by a postal system network with Post Offices located in the various townships. However, with advancement in technology, other means of communication including private courier and transport service providers who offer delivery services for mail and parcels, mobile telephone, and data communication which offer electronic mail and information transfer platforms, the use of post offices has diminished. Nyandarua County has embraced ICT in public service delivery, and in learning institutions. The County has poor signal network apart from the centres with Base Transmission Stations (BTS). ICT infrastructure in the County remains weak as demonstrated by weak Grams per Square Metre (GSM) signal in certain areas, and lack of 4G network. The main mobile phone and telephone service providers are Safaricom, Airtel and Orange. The County is also not fully connected to the National Optical Fibre forcing residents to rely on a weak Local Area Network (LAN). However, the County Government, in partnership with the National Government is in the process of connecting the County with fibre optic. Ol’Kalou fibre optic cable has been laid from Gilgil to Nyahururu. Ol’Kalou town is the only area connected with the fibre optic. The town has two networks, one from Nyahururu to Ol’Kalou and the other from Gilgil to Ol’Kalou. Automation within departmental offices is reasonable though inadequate. The County relies on the IFMIS for transaction management, but total revenue collection automation is yet to be realised. ICT uptake in the Government offices is evident with 85% of the offices having access to internet, and 80% of revenue collection automated. The County has recently acquired two servers to enable back-up of digital data while all offices have LAN, a unified communication system and Bulk SMS platform.
Youth Sports Gender and Social Services
Sports, Youth and Arts
Sports and Sporting Facilities
The County is home to renowned national athletes due to its high attitude climate. Nevertheless, the sports facilities are not well developed. The Ol’Kalou stadium is in the process of being upgraded to international standards. The County has the following stadia distributed throughout its Sub Counties that require upgrading and maintenance.
While the County has a large youth population, it lacks talent academies and other facilities to harness the potential of its youth. The youth need to be empowered economically, socially and politically through training and support. The County Government will continue to promote youth empowerment through the creation of ICT hubs, Jua Kali sectors, subsidised boda boda charges, organization of youth groups, and the promotion of fish farming and poultry farming, among other measures.
In the past, youth groups have been supported in order to increase their participation in economic
development and job creation. The County will continue to provide incubators, greenhouses to support agribusiness and car wash machines to the youth groups to help them learn entrepreneurial skills.
Agriculture, Livestock, and Fisheries
Acreage Under Food and Cash Crops
The acreage in the County under cultivation is 96,062 ha out of the total arable area of 184,900 ha. Nyandarua County experiences rains for most of the year apart from areas in Lower Ndaragwa Sub-County that are relatively dry.
Average Farm Sizes
Both large and relatively small land parcels are evenly distributed across the County. Small portions of land are found within the areas initially designated as colonial labour settlements.
Main Storage Facilities
Nyandarua County has three major storage facilities; two are Government entities (National Cereals and Produce Board in Lereshwa – Kipipiri and Ol’Kalou) while one is private owned (Midland Limited). Overall, these facilities can hold up to 215,000 bags.
Main Livestock Breeds and Facilities
Major livestock breeds are both indigenous and exotic. Cooling and pasteurising facilities exists in both Engineer in Kinangop Sub-County and Ol’Kalou though privately owned. Other facilities that exist with regard to livestock outputs are milk coolers owned by various dairy co-operative societies. Cattle dips are located across the County although their operations vary depending on their location and management. There is no processing plant for milk or any other livestock product.
Finance and Economic Development
- Government in a format determined by the Accounting Standards Board;
- Act as custodian of the inventory of the County Government assets except where provided otherwise by other legislation or the Constitution;
- Ensure compliance with accounting standards prescribed and published by the Accounting Standards Board from time to time;
- Ensure proper management and control of, and accounting for the finances of the County Government and its entities in order to promote efficient and effective use of the county’s budgetary resources;
- Maintain proper accounts and other records in respect of the County Revenue Fund, the County Emergencies Fund and other public funds administered by the County Government;
Land housing and Physical planning
Land Ownership Categories/Classification
Land ownership in Nyandarua is largely private with most owners being small-scale farmers with a few large farms spread across the County. The average holding size per household is 3.5 ha. With the projected population growth and the predominant cultural practices on inheritance, the average acreage per household will continue to decrease due to subdivisions. Over 90% of the households owning land have their title deeds.
There are three major settlement patterns identified in the County; clustered settlements, dispersed settlements and linear/ribbon settlements.
Housing typologies in Nyandarua County vary from one settlement to another. They vary from detached, semi-detached, bungalows, maisonettes, row housing and apartments/flats. Flats and row/terrace houses are located mainly in major urban centres such as Ol’Kalou, Njabini and Ol’Joro Orok, while maisonettes, row houses and detached huts are found in the rural areas. In Nyandarua County, 29% of residents have homes with cement floors, while 68% have earth floors. Less than 1% of homes have tiled floors and 2% have wooden floors. Ol’Joro Orok Constituency has the highest share of cement floors at 33%, which is 4 percentage points above the County average. Gatimu Ward has the highest share of cement floors at 56%. In Nyandarua County, less than 1% of residents have homes with concrete roofs, while 95% have corrugated iron sheet roofs. Grass and makuti roofs constitute 1% of homes. Kinangop and Ol’Joro Orok constituencies have the highest share of corrugated iron sheet roofs at 96% each; 4 percentage points above Ndaragwa Constituency, which has the lowest share. Githabai Ward has the highest share of corrugated iron sheet roofs at 99%.
Industrialization, Trade, Cooperatives and Urban Development
County, apart from being predominantly agricultural, has other resources which include:
forestry, water, tourism and natural stone for quarrying. There is potential for secondary utilisation of these resources. Potential for agro-industrial processing exists in the dairy and livestock sector, horticulture and food crop production. Other economic activities include: saw-milling, commerce and small-scale Jua Kali industrial enterprises.
There are about 313 trading market centres. The majority of them have scheduled market days
where buyers and sellers congregate for trading on retail basis. Major goods traded in these markets include potatoes, cabbages and tomatoes among other agricultural produce, second-hand clothes and household items. There are 537 registered wholesale traders and 12,900 retailers in the County. This implies that the bulk of the trade is in retail.
Industrial Parks (including sheds)
No established industrial parks exist in the County; however industrial areas have been set aside in the zoning plans. There are four already established Constituency Industrial Development Centres in Kipipiri, Kinangop, Ol’Kalou and Ndaragwa but operating under capacity due to lack of equipment. In the absence of a strong formal industrial base, the Jua Kali sector remains the most important economic activity. The main activities include tailoring, carpentry and joinery, blacksmith, welding/fabrication and motor vehicle repairs. This sector provides the bulk of farm implements. The County has a total of five Jua Kali associations with a combined membership of 1023 people. Most of the Jua Kali artisans however operate in un-coordinated manner in production and marketing.
There are no large-scale industrial activities related to manufacturing and processing. There are however numerous small-scale industrial activities such as saw-milling, furniture and metal fabrication, among others concentrated mainly in the urban and market centres. The metal fabrication works and wood crafts have now extended to the rural areas because of electricity supply. The contribution of these cottage industries to the local economy cannot be estimated because most entrepreneurs are not willing to disclose information on the amount of money they earn. The closure of forests has led to a closure of most saw-milling enterprises, which had been a major employer.
Education, culture, and Arts
Pre-School Education (Early Childhood Development Education)
The County currently has 929 Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) centres of
which 496 are public and 433 are private. The enrolment stands at 33,953 where 20,216 are in public centres and 13,737 are in private centres. In this enrolment, 17,270 are boys while 16,683 are girls.
The enrolment is approximately 49.49% of the projected target population aged between 3 and 5 years. The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) is 54.5% with that of boys being 55.6% and that of girls being 53.3%. The Net Enrolment Rate (NER) is 53% with that of boys being 54.2% and that of girls being 51.8%. This indicates that there are many children who are not enrolled in ECDE. There are 1317 ECDE teachers, indicating a general teacher pupil ratio of 1:26. There are 789 teachers in public centres and 528 teachers in private centres. The average age of attendance to ECDE is two years.
The County has 507 primary schools of which 349 are public while 158 are private. The total enrolment is 151,165, where 128298 are in public primary schools and 22427 are in private schools. In this enrolment, 76,165 are boys while 75,000 are girls. The enrollment is 92.5% of the County population aged 6 and 13 years. The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) in primary schools is 109.5% while the Net Enrolment Rate (NER) is 96.8%. The number of public primary school teachers is 3,942 with a pupil teacher ratio of 1:33.About 3% of children travel for less than one kilometre to school while 93% travel between 1.1 and 4.9Kms. 4% of the children travel for more than 5km to school.
The Youth polytechnics are basic technical education institutions intended to offer school leavers both from primary and secondary schools opportunities to acquire education and training, knowledge and technical skills for gainful employment. Besides, they equip the youth with entrepreneurial skills based on appropriate technology enabling them to utilise locally available resources for further job creation.
The polytechnics in Nyandarua County include: Rurii Polytechnic, Ol’Kalou Polytechnic, Melangine Polytechnic, Ngorika, Mukeu polytechnic, Kinangop polytechnic, Njabini Polytechnic, Munyaka YP (Engineer), Nandarasi (under construction), Miharati Polytechnic, Kahoro Polytechnic, Lereshwa Polytechnic, Kangui Polytechnic, Ngano and Geta polytechnics are yet to be renovated, Leshau Polytechnic, Shauri Polytechnic, Shamata Polytechnic, Pesi Polytechnic, while Kanyagia and Karagoini polytechnics were renovated and ready for use. Mbuyu and Ol’Bolosat polytechnics (under construction) and Raichiri polytechnic was supplied with electricity.
There are 221 secondary schools; 167 public and 54 private. The average distance travelled to access a public secondary school facility within the County is 2.5 km. This is longest in Ndaragwa, 3.3 km and shortest in Kipipiri, 2 km. Current total enrolment is 57,646, of which 51,599 are in public and 6,047 are private.
The total number of secondary schools in the County is 219 of which 167 are public schools while 52 are private. The total enrolment stands at 60,021, comprising of 53,974 in public schools and 6,047 in private schools. In this enrolment, 28,303 are boys while 31,718 are girls. This enrolment is 60.66% of population aged 4–17 years. There are 1,656 teachers in public schools in the County giving a teacher/student ratio of 1:33. The dropout in secondary schools stands at 5.8%. Students travelling less than one kilometre to school account for 12%, with 54% travelling 1.1 to 4.9 km and 34% travelling for five kilometres and above. The transition from primary to secondary school is 21%, meaning that 79% either join tertiary institutions or they drop out of school after primary school education.
The County has four technical training institutes, namely Nyandarua Institute of Science and Technology (NIST), Leshau, Kinangop, and Kipipiri Technical Training Institutes. In addition, there is the Aberdare Teacher Training College. The County also has Animal Health Industry Training Institute (AHITI) at Ol’Joro Orok. Lack of adequate tertiary institutions has negatively affected the transition to higher learning for skills development and also upgrading from traditional to market driven courses. The sector needs close attention since the level of education is always proportional to the rate of development.
Museums, Heritage and Culture
Sites and monuments constitute the nation’s immovable heritage. These sites and monuments, including the natural and cultural landscapes, historical and contemporary architecture, memorials, artworks and sculptures, are a testimony of our identities, shared aesthetical values and creative expressions. The conservation and appreciation of such sites and monuments promote a stable society and ensures recognition and respect for the differences and cultural identities of distinct communities.
Tangible culture includes archaeological findings and cultural artefacts. The Government shall put in place mechanisms to promote, preserve, safeguard and disseminate traditional and contemporary knowledge on tangible culture. It shall promote programmes that contribute to the use of tangible cultural heritage as a means of wealth creation and employment. Intangible Culture is defined under the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage as “the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artefacts and cultural spaces associated therewith that communities, groups and, in, some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.”
Last Update: December 20, 2021