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Taita Taveta County

The County has 4 constituencies and 20 wards

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It covers a total area of 17,084.1 kilometres squared and this makes it one of the largest counties in the county. It borders Tana River, Kitui and Makueni Counties to the north, Kwale and Kilifi Counties to the east, Kajiado County to the northwest and the Republic of Tanzania to the south and southwest.

Taita Taveta’s current Governor is John Mtuta Mruttu; Senator is Danson Mwanzo Mwakulengwa and Joyce Wanjalah Ley as the women Rep. The County has 4 constituencies and 20 wards as below:-

Its local authority is the county Council of Tana River. Hola town is the administrative headquarters.

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Socio- Economic Activities 

The people of Tana River County are engaged in various economic including crop farming which is mostly practised in the upper ecological zones of the county. The agricultural products are consumed locally while the surplus is sold in the various agricultural markets in Taita Taveta County.

Tourism also contributes to the economy of the county. One of the tourist attraction sites includes Tsavo Game Reserve and national park which has a rich biodiversity of wild animals and birds.

Real Estate developers have built a number of hotels and lodges in and near this tourist attraction sites and this in turn offer employment to some of the residents of the county.

There are six commercial banks and eight micro finance institutions that help to foster economic growth and development in Taita Taveta County. This is achieved through loans that are offered to the residents for business and agricultural purposes.

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Other businesses in the county include retail and wholesale shops as well as supermarkets and petrol stations. Most of these businesses are located in the urban areas and along the major roads in the county.

Taita Taveta County has recently seen great developments in its mineral mining sector after traces of iron ore were discovered in 1992. Asbestos, chalk, limestone, gemstones, construction stones and sand are also among the regions minerals portfolio.

The county is also known for its large-scale sisal farming with vast sisal plantations covering the area.

Natural Resources 

Riverine forest, woodland, grassland, bush lands, lakes, open river channels, sand dunes, mangroves and coastal waters contribute to making Tana River County one of the most ecologically diverse habitats and a tourist attraction in the country.

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Besides the Tana River, there are several seasonal rivers in the district. These are found in the area west of River Tana in northeastern part of the district.

Popularly known as “lagas”, these rivers flow in a west-east direction from Kitui, Makueni and Mwingi District draining into River Tana and eventually into the Indian Ocean.

Ethnic composition

The major ethnic groups are the Pokomo, many of whom are farmers, and the Orma and Wardey, who are predominantly nomadic. The county is generally dry and prone to drought. Rainfall is erratic, with rainy seasons in March–May and October–December.

Conflicts have occurred between farmers and nomadic peoples over access to water. Flooding is also a regular problem, caused by heavy rainfall in upstream areas of the Tana River. On 22 August 2012, in the worst violent incident in Kenya since 2007, at least 52 people were killed in ethnic violence in Tana River County between the Orma and Pokomo groups.

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Tana River County presents an interesting case of the nexus between conflict and food security. A recent survey prepared by ALMRP, Tana River District and presented to the Tana River District Steering Group (2004) found that the county is 79% food insecure and with an incidence of poverty at 62% (Interim Poverty Strategy Paper (I-PSP), 2000–2003, Kenya).

Tana River County comprises several areas of forest, woodland and grassland which are minor centres of endemism. The forests are designated National Reserve status if they have >4 plant endemics and >7 vertebrate endemics (IUCN, 2003).

Despite the apparent adequate natural resources, the region remains marginalised from the rest of the country. Efforts at development always seem to centre on the huge River Tana, despite massive failures in all the previous irrigation projects in the district, i.e. Bura, Hola and the Tana delta rice irrigation project which failed after the water works were damaged by the El Niño rains in 1998.

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