Tana River County


Public Service Management, Administration, and ICT

The mandates of public service and civic education includes:-

  1. co-ordination of county function
  2. Tracking of Implementation of policies/Acts
  3. co-ordination of county civil service
  4. Ensuring smooth service delivery in the county
  5. Ensuring citizens are well informed of the constitution
  6. Ensure transparency in the administration

In total, Tana River County is represented widely by fifteen Wards (15) each with a ward administrator. The wards are further divided into villages. Each of these administrative units needs an administrator to be in charge at each level.

Finance And Economic Planning

The Department of Finance and Planning is one of the eight departments created by. H.E the Governor and has a pivotal role in the coordination of development planning, mobilization of public resources and ensuring effective accountability for use of the resources for benefit of the County. It has a mission to mobilize resources, ensure prudent management of resources, and provide leadership in development planning and tracking of results.

The Department derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and other related subordinate laws including Public Management Finance Act 2012, County Government Public Finance Management Transition Act 1 2013 And County Government Act 2012 and is responsible for finance and economic planning of the County.

It coordinates County government departments/sectors in the preparation of the annual County budget. It is the responsibility of the department to initiate and guide all sectors to prepare their budgets. The department also provides Accounting, Auditing, Insurance, Pensions and Procurement services.

The Mandate of The Department Is To:

  • To Implement Financial and Economic policies in the county
    Annual budget preparation
  • Resource mobilization
  • Managing County Government’s public debt and other obligations & developing debt control framework
  • Consolidating Annual appropriation accounts and other financial statements of the County Government Custodian of the inventory of County Government Assets
  • Ensure compliance with accounting standards prescribed by Accounting Standards Board
  • 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 county budgetary resources
  • Maintenance of proper records for CRF, CEF and other public funds administered by County Government
  • Monitor County Government entities
  • Assisting County Government Entities develop capacity
  • Provide National Treasury with information
  • Issue circulars
  • Advise County Government Executives, County Executive Committee, and County Assembly on financial matters
  • Strengthening financial and fiscal relations between the National Government and County Government in performing its function
  • Reporting regularly to the County Assembly on the implementation of annual county budget
  • Taking any other action to further the implementation this Act.

Health, Sanitation, and Medical Services

Health Access (Health Facilities, Personnel)
There are 71 health facilities in the county with two level four public hospitals located in Hola and Ngao. There is one sub-county hospital in Bura, five public health centres, 40 dispensaries and 20 private clinics, two mission dispensaries and one private health centre. The bed capacity is 158 while the average distance to a health facility is six kilometres. The county has six doctors, 126 nurses, 1,149 CHEWs, 25 PHOs, and three nutritionists against a projected population of 265,854.

Nutritional Status
As shown below, the percentage underweight for 2012 has reduced due to the various interventions put in place. That is increased nutrition surveillance, SFP/OTP programmes and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) activities.

Immunization Coverage
The county has an average immunization coverage of 76 per cent which is below the World Health Organisation/National average of 90 per cent. The major challenges for low immunisation coverage are attributed to nomadic lifestyle and frequent depletion of stock of the required antigens.

The reference on sanitation is on housing-ventilation and rendering of floors and walls of buildings, provision of dish-racks, cloth hang-line, waste disposal at household level and public in general at market centres. At the market centre level the attention is on waste disposal. Of all the centres, only Hola has a Public toilet, collection of waste is done by the county government within Hola town and there is no designated disposal point for the waste. The situation in most of our institutions especially schools, is reasonably good as they have latrines albeit not adequate.

Education, Youth, Sports, Gender and Social Services

Pre-School Education
The county has 315 ECDE centres with 462 teachers. The gross enrolment rate is at 56.3 per cent with a teacher pupil ratio of 1:51. The enrolment of boys and girls is at 55.6 and 42.7 per cent respectively.
Primary Education
The county has 152 primary schools with 1,219 teachers giving rise to a teacher pupil ratio of 1:40. However, the available schools are not evenly distributed. The average gross enrolment is at 60.4 per cent with boys’ enrolment rate standing at 68.5 per cent while that of girls stands at 51.9 per cent.
The literacy rate for the county is 33.7 per cent and the illiteracy rate is at 66.3 per cent. However, this data is not disaggregated between male and female.
Secondary Education
The county has 52 secondary schools with 150 teachers. The teacher/student ratio is 1:32. The net enrolment is 4,903 with 1,603 being girls and 3,300 boys. The girl population is so low due the high drop-out rate arising from early marriages and pregnancies.
Tertiary Education
There are no colleges or universities in the county. Concerted efforts need to be directed towards the construction of tertiary institutions in the county to boost transition rates and build on the human resource base.

Sports, Culture and Creative Arts

The county has one community cultural centre and one social hall situated in Tana Delta Sub County and both still under construction
Heritage and Cultural sites
There are several unexploited cultural sites
Talent Academies
Despite having a huge potential for talent development, the county has no talent academy.
Sports facilities
The county has a huge talent base for sporting activities but is hampered by limited technical personnel and facilities. There is one County Sports Office with only three staff members, three sports grounds one each in Tana River, Tana North and Tana Delta Sub Counties.

Trade, Co-Operative Development, Tourism & Industrialization

Cooperative Societies
There are 28 cooperative societies in the county with only 12 being active. The cooperative societies in the county are composed of six SACCOs, seven agriculture based societies, eight livestock cooperative societies, two consumer societies and five multipurpose societies. The cooperative movement in the county needs to be strengthened to improve on the levels of income and reduce the poverty levels in the county.

Markets and Urban Centres
There are 10 major trading centres in the county with 24 registered wholesale traders and 773 registered retail traders. There are two registered Jua Kali associations in the county with 31 members. These trading centres are the main economic hubs of the county since major business activities are done here.

Tourism plays a very crucial role in the Kenyan economy and is a major source of potential growth and employment. As such, the County Government of Tana-River is committed in working with the private sector in removing the bottlenecks that hinder its growth by strengthening the linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy. To diversify tourism the county government will implement marketing campaign of Tana-River County as a major tourism destination by marketing domestic tourism, rehabilitate tourism infrastructure, diversify and develop tourism products, develop high value cultural centres and festivals and develop niche products such as conference, eco based, cultural, bird watching and heritage tourism.

Main Tourist Attractions, National Parks/Reserves
The main tourist attractions in the county are Kora National Reserve, Arawale National Reserve and Tana Primate National Reserve.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Veterinary Services

Land and Land Use
The land in the county is largely non-arable covering 29,798.7 km². The rest is either under forest 3,457 km², arable land covering 2,547 km², and 3,059.5 km² under national reserves.

Mean Holding Size
The mean holding land size in the county is 4 ha, especially in the irrigation schemes of Hola and Bura. In the settlement schemes of Witu I and Witu II, the mean land holding size is 15 acres while Ngao adjudication area, the mean holding size is 5 acres. Though the mean holding land size is 4 ha, there is a variation on land holding with some farmers in Bura and Hola irrigation schemes having between 0.6 ha and 3 ha.
Percentage of Land with Title Deeds
Only about 4.3 per cent of the land in the county has title deeds. Most land owners have no title deeds since the land is communally held in trust by the County Government/Government of Kenya.
Crops, Livestock and Fish Production
Main Crops Produced
The main crops produced in the county are mangoes, cowpeas, bananas and green grams. Farmers in the county mainly rely on rain fed and flood recession farming systems with only a few practicing irrigated farming. Maize production also takes place in the irrigation scheme.
Acreage under Food Crops and Cash Crops
The total acreage of farms under food crop production is 7,527 hectares while that under cash crop production is 7,063 hectares.
Average Farm Sizes
The arable area in the county is 2,547 Km2 with the average farm size being 0.71 ha. Farmers normally grow subsistence crops.

Main Livestock Breed
Livestock keeping is practised mainly through pastoralism by the Orma, Borana, Wardei and Somali. The main livestock types are cattle, donkey, camel and goat. The most common breed are Orma-boran, Galla goats, black head Persian sheep.

Main Fishing Activities, Types of Fish Produced, Landing Sites
The main types of fish produced in the county include Tuna, Catfish and Rabbit fish (marine species), Tilapia, and Synodontis. There are three landing sites namely Chara, Ozi and Kipini with the main fishing gear being traps, fishing nets, hooks/lines, fishing boats and marine seine nets. Fishing activities are carried along the river Tana and at the ocean at Kipini, Ozi and Chara. There is potential for fish farming in the area as was demonstrated by the Economic Stimulus Project where about 900 fish ponds were established across the county. Main fishing activities currently being undertaken in the county range from use dugout canoes, anglers, use of fish traps and modern fish boats (trawlers). The main fish species harvested range from fresh water fishes like protopterus, catfish, tilapia species and marine species including fin fishes and crustaceans (crabs, prawns, lobsters and octopuses).

Roads, Public Works, Housing, and Urbanization

Road, Rail Network, Ports and Airports, Airstrips and Jetties

The total road network in the county is 3,377km with about 55 per cent in motorable condition. The total road network is composed of 1,108km (class A – E) of classified roads and 2,269km (class U) of unclassified roads. Out of this only 449km is bitumen surfaced. The major roads in the county include the Madogo – Hola – Malindi road which is dilapidated and impassable at various points during rains. The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has however put in place plans to upgrade the 330km stretch to bitumen standard, and the project is in the
design phase and construction is set to begin as soon as funds are available. The county boasts of seven airstrips with major ones located at Hola, Bura and Garsen. The county has a 76Km sea front with Kipini operating as a fish landing site which can be potential sea port for fishing vessels. The LAPSSET project will potentially open up the county with road and rail network.

Housing Types
Tana River County has 547 pool institutional/government houses that accommodate civil servants. The houses are however, inadequate and not properly maintained. This is due to insufficient funds, lack of cheap and durable raw materials, among others.

Addressing the housing issue in the county will require the operationalization of the National Housing Policy in the county, identification and disseminating of low cost building materials and appropriate building technology, and creation of enabling environment to encourage investors to venture into housing sub-sector.

Water, Energy, Environment Wildlife and Natural Resources

Water Resources and Quality
River Tana is the longest river in Kenya covering about 850 Km long with catchments area of about 95,000 Km2 traversing the landscape from its source in Aberdare Ranges in central Kenya to the Indian Ocean. It discharges on average 4,000 million litres of fresh water annually into the ocean near Kipini at Ungwana Bay. The Seven Folks Hydro Electric power Stations and Bura and Hola irrigation schemes are located upstream of the delta. Tana River supports industrial and other socio-economic functions such as power generation upstream, agriculture, livestock, tourism and micro-enterprises found within the basin.

Energy Access (Main Sources of Energy, Electricity Coverage)
Majority of the population (87.5%) use wood fuel for cooking and 78.2 per cent use kerosene for lighting. Only 0.9 per cent of the households are connected with electricity. There is a lot of potential for the exploitation of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and expansion of electricity transmission in the county through the main grid.

Main Wildlife
The main wildlife found in the county is Red Columbus Monkey, Tana River Crested Mangabey monkeys, Elephants and Heartbeast (Hirola). Tana River delta is one of the six deltaic areas of Eastern Africa and the largest freshwater wetland systems in Kenya. The Delta is rich in biodiversity supporting diverse species of flora and fauna. It is internationally important for the survival of no less than 22 species of birds making the delta one of the key sites in the country for water bird conservation. It also holds the breeding sites of valuable edible fish and shellfish and a rich biodiversity of other wildlife.


Environmental protection and management ensures protection of forests. The department works closely with agencies like NEMA, KWS, KFS and other aligned departments and NGOs. Our goal is to turn each household into a main driver of environmental conservation. We have e laborate plans to sensitize communities across the county on importance of environmental conservation.


Last Update: December 3, 2021
December 3, 2021 501 DEBORAHTana River County
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