Murang'a County

Its largest town is Murang'a

Its largest town is Murang'a its capital, called Fort Hall in colonial times (before 1963).

It is inhabited mainly by and is considered the home of the Gikuyu, the largest community in Kenya. The county has a population of 942,581 (2009 census).

History

When missionaries first came to Kenya, they were prevented from settling on the coast by the Portuguese, who had taken the coastal area, strategic for trade, from Arab powers in the 16th century.

The missionaries were forced to venture into Kenya's rugged interior and Murang'a was one of the first places they settled.

When the British set up the East African Protectorate in 1895, their first administrative post (Fort Smith) was located in Murang'a.

One of the main highlights of Murang'a's history, however, is that the Mau Mau uprising that was led by the Agikuyu community who consider Murang'a their ancestral origin.

Murang'a is thus considered by some as the birthplace of the Kenyan independence movement. Missionaries had initially been welcomed by Karuri Wagakure who was the chief of Tuthu.

They set up the first mission church in Kenya at Murang'a. Murang'a is also the source of many big rivers like River Maragua which originates from the heart of the Aberdare range, River Mathioya, River Kayahwe, River Irati, River Muriurio and many others.

Murang'a is additionally known for its fertile farming soil and good climate with maize, beans, sweet potatoes, arrow roots, pumpkins,bananas and numerous other food crops grown in the region. Tea and Coffee are the main cash crops produced.

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