Embu County News
Embu County is located in Eastern Kenya, it borders the following counties; Tharaka Nithi to the North, Kitui to the East, Machakos to the South, Muranga to the South West, Kirinyaga to the West, and Meru to the North West.
Embu County is a geopolitical-administrative region in Kenya. It is one of the 47 Counties established under the First Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. The headquarters of the County are in Embu town which is 130 km north-east of Nairobi.
The County has a population of 516,212 people and covers an area of 2,818 Sq km. The major ethnic communities in the County are the Embu, Mbeere and the Kamba. There are also found other cosmopolitan ethnic communities especially in the urban centres of the County.
The County comprises of 4 constituencies; Manyatta, Runyenjes, Mbeere North and Mbeere South. The current leadership of the county as elected in the 2013 general elections comprises of Senator Lenny Kivuti, Governor Martin Wambora and the County Assembly members under Speaker Justus Kariuki.
Embu County is home to Mwea National Reserve and 3 of the 7 Kenya famed hydroelectric water dams (the 7 forks) along the river Tana i.e. Kamburu, Kindaruma and Kiambeere dams. The main economic activities in the region include Tea, Coffee, Macadamia and dairy farming in the upper zones of the county (Manyatta and Runyenjes) and livestock and bee keeping in the lower zones (Mbeere and Mwea).
Education and Schools in Embu County
Embu County is renowned for its numerous learning institutions. As of 2013, there are 468 primary schools serving 125,420 students and 163 secondary schools serving about 27,000 students. The ratio of pupil to teacher in public schools stands at 1:35 while that of student to teacher in public secondary schools is 1:25.
Some top schools include Kangaru girls’ and Kangaru boys’ high schools, Kyeni girls’ secondary near Runyenjes, St. Mary Kiangima girls boarding school, Kiambeere school complex, Nguviu boys, Nguviu girls secondary schools among others.The
The county has 24 insitutions of higher learning including; Government training Institute (GTI), Embu University College formerly E.A.S.T College which plays host to satellite campuses of leading public universities such as Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities. There are also privately owned colleges that are located in the major towns which include Kenya institute of Management, Embu College and Achievers College that offer business and information technology courses.
Universities and Colleges in Embu County
Universities in Embu County
Embu county boasts of numerous universities and constituent colleges allied to various national universities in Kenya. They include:
- Embu University College – a constituent of the University of Nairobi located at Kangaru in Embu town
- The Kenya Anglican University with main campus at Kanyuambora in Mbeere, along Embu-Ishiara road
- Other national universities with campuses in Embu include:
- Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)
- Kenyatta University (KU)
- Chuka University College
- Kenya Institute of Management (Management University of Africa)
Public Youth Polytechnics in Embu County
- Kangaru Polytechnic
- Nembure Polytechnic
- Kathunguri Youth Polytechnic
- Kanja Polytechnic
Teacher Training Colleges in Embu County
- St. Marks’ Teachers Training College, Kigari
- St. Augustine Teachers’ Training College – Ishiara area
- White Brook Teachers’ Training College – Embu-Meru highway
Technical Colleges in Embu county
- Embu Technical Training Centre in Kubukubu
- Rwika Technical Institute – Kiritiri road
Commercial Colleges in Embu County
- Embu College of Professional Studies
- Embu Institute of Business Management
- Gatumo School of Accountancy
- Kenya Institute of Professional Counseling
- Intraglobal Training Institute
- Superior Commercial & Secretarial College
- Wyda College of Advanced Information & Communication Technology
- Cannyk School of Hairdressing & Beauty Therapy
- Galmourland School of Hair Design & Beauty Therapy
- Wanjua School of Beauty Therapy & Hairdressing
Secondary Schools in Embu County
Secondary Schools in Embu East
Gatumbi Baptist Mixed Day
Kegonge Boys High School
Kithunguthia Day Secondary School
Moi High Mbiruri
S. A. Gikuuri Sec Sch
S. A. Kyeni Mixed Sec
S. A. Nduuri Sec.
St. Agnes Kiaganari Girls
St. Anthony Kivuria
St. Barnabas Kathari
St. Catherine Nthagaiya
St. Francis Kanja
St. Getrude Sec Kinthithe
St. John Kathande
St. John Kathunguri
St. John’s Fishers
St. Jude Karurumo
St. Marks Ena
St. Mary Goretti Girls-Rukuriri
St. Marys Kigaa Mixed
St. Paul Kiamboa Day
St. Thomas Aquinas
Secondary Schools in Embu North
All Saints Kigari
D.E.B Kairuri Mixed Day
Kamviu Secondary School
Kavutiri Mixed Sec.
Kavutiri Sec.-st stephens
Kirigi Secondary School
St Annes Kiriari Girls
St. Martha Mixed Day
St. Alphonse Mixed
St. Benedicts Karau
St. John’s Kianjuki
St. Joseph The Worker Kathuniri
St. Mary’s Girls Mukangu
St. Peter’s Kagumori
St. Peter’s Kathakwa
Secondary Schools in Embu West
DEB Kangaru Mixed Day
Gatituri Sec Sch
Gatondo Sec Sch
Kangaru Girls Sch
Kithegi Mixed Sec
St. Joseph’s Sec Sch M’tetu
St. Lukes Day Karurina
St. Marys Kiangima Sec
St. Benedicts Kithimu
St. Christopher Mixed
St. Francis Ngoire
St. Michael Kevote Day Sec
St. Michael Mixed Day Sec
St. Paul’s Kevote
St. Teresa Kithimu
Secondary Schools in Mbeere North
Cieria Mixed Sec
Gitiburi Secondary School
Gitii ACK Secondary School
John Xxiii Gwakaithi
Kambaru Day Mixed
Karangare Secondary School
Kathagutari St Mathew
Kavengero St. Barnabas
Kianjeru Sec St Timothy
Kigwambiti Sec. School
Kirie StJohn The Baptist
S. A. Itiira
S. A. Muthanthara
Siakago Mixed St Antony
St. Michael- Kyenire
St. Rita Mixed Day Ngumyumu
St. Lukes Kamwaa
Secondary Schools in Mbeere South
ACK Rianjeru Sec
Consolata Gitaraka Girls
Karaba Boys Sec
Kiamuringa Sec School
Kitololoni Mixed Day
Malikini Sec School
Mashamba Sec. Sch.
Mutus Mixed Day
Ngiori Integrated Sec
St. Clare Kangeta
St. Marys Gataka
Stephen Kisilu Sec.
Yoder Karwigi Mixed
S. A. Gategi Day Mixed
Primary Schools in Embu County
The county has 494 Primary Schools holding about 125,418 pupils
Business in Embu County
Business and Commerce is diverse in Embu county with the largest concentration being in Embu town. The goods and services traded include:
- Agricultural produce
- Household items
- Hardware products
- Manufactured goods
- Real estate
- Mining products
- Scrap metal
- Electronics and other consumer products.
The corporate sector includes banks and other companies that generate profit through investment and management of capital. There are many retailers and distributors in the county who act as middle-men, getting manufactured goods to intended consumers.
There are several cooperative societies that engage in various businesses from transport, banking to input and output supplies.
In addition, there are many shops and business outlets stocking a wide range of consumer items. These range from textile, shoes, basic commodities, airtime for mobile phones available daily in all the urban centres and in shops and kiosks found in almost every village.
Environment and Land in Embu County
Embu lies on the windward slopes of Mt. Kenya. It remarkably occupies the most prime fertile lands of the Kenya highlands. The forest cover hosts a great number of flora and fauna. There are two seasons enjoyed each year and the weather is quite favourable for diverse agricultural activities. Instances of drought or famine are extremely rare.
With sufficient water resources, agriculture is prevalent owing to existence of several rivers that flow through the county. Considering the conservation measures that are in place, the county is projected to become water secure with the consequent rise in both agricultural production and household incomes.
Climate and Weather in Embu County
Because of it’s location at the foothill of Mount Kenya, the county’s temperatures are estimated at an average of between 9°C – 28°C. The county receives substantial rainfall with average annual precipitation of 1206mm.
The wettest season is experienced between March and July while the hottest comes between January and mid March. Much of the land is largely arable and is well watered by a number of rivers and streams.
Roads in Embu County
- Bitumen Surface: 120 Km
- Gravel Surface: 402 Km
- Earth Surface: 914.3 Km
The County is also host to one airstrip located at Don Bosco in Embu town and is currently being refurbished.
Economic Activities in Embu County
Factories in Embu County
The county has several industries ranging from small to large sizes. The larger industries include agro-processing plants such as
- Rukuriri, Mungania and Kathangariri Tea factories.
- A dairy processing factory in Runyenjes,
- Coffee factories,
- Cotton factories
- Pyrethrum factories,
- Construction factories and several posho mills available in towns, market centres and in most villages.
The informal (Jua Kali) sector is outstanding in Embu town and other urban areas producing timber and wood products, sheet metal works and various garages for repair of motor vehicles.
With recent rural electrification, these services are currently available in small towns and markets. The industrial potential of the county has remained largely unexploited.
Bricks and Brick making in Enbu County
Brick making is very common in Embu county. The building of houses using fired clay bricks and brick making technologies constitute a recent adaptation in the county. Due to their relatively low cost, burnt bricks have become popular building materials. They have been used to build houses, commercial buildings, schools and all other types of houses. The soils in most parts of the county have high clay content suited for brick making. Bricks are made at commercial scales for sale to local residents while on the other hand some make their own bricks for constructing houses.
The local bricks are usually produced in bulk quantities and in standard sizes (measuring 5 inches wide, 5 inches thick and approximately 9 -12 inches long). The bricks are stacked together or laid as brickwork using various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together and make a permanent structure. They provide long lasting and strong building materials, which have been used throughout the history.
Mining in Embu County
Iron Ore in Embu County
There is sufficient evidence of iron ore deposits in Mbeere particularly within river beds that emanate from Kiang’ombe hill. A number of streams in this location still contain the dark deposits of iron in the sand. In earlier days, there were special sites where larger deposits were found and collected. Most of the traditional iron ore mining sites cannot be easily traced due to environmental degradation caused by overgrazing and trampling.
There are several sites in the county that contain deposits of iron ore and await exploration and development.
Some notable sites containing iron ore deposits include: –
It is on Thura River just below the confluence of three streams (Thura, Ganjai and Kauni) at the ridge on the Kirie-Kiritiri road. There is iron ore and most of the deposits appear to emanate from the Kauni stream.
It is on Marivwe stream in Ngoce sub-location of Mbeere. Iron ore deposits are in the stream bed.
This is on Thura River in Mbeere North where dark sand for smelting iron is found.
It is in Kirie in Mbeere where the dark sand containing iron ore was collected and is still discernible.
This is a tributary of Ena River and a seasonal stream that flows through Kigwambiti in Evurori, Mbeere. It contains iron ore deposits too.
Sand Harvesting in Embu County
Sand which occurs naturally in the stream beds or rivers in dry areas is found mostly in Mbeere, Embu County. It is manually scooped from the dry riverbeds mainly on the seasonal rivers such as Marivwe, Njauri, Thura and the lower reaches of Ena river. Other sites where sand scooping is done include: Kithagana seasonal stream near Siakago, Nguu stream around Mecca and Kwamiti areas along Kiritiri-Gachoka road. Also near Kanyariri and on road sides especially on drifts along Siakago-Kiritiri road and other road drifts in Mbeere.
Sand scooping increases during the dry season as an income generating activity. There is a huge potential for investment in this area and requires some coordinated mechanism to ensure sand is harvested sustainably and the benefits trickle back to the local people.
Gemstones Mining in Embu County
Gemstones are found in various parts of Embu County. There are several abandoned mines in the lower Mbeere zones of Evurori and Kiambere. The precious stones are scattered around Kamuthara, Kairiri, Kanthumbi and Mata hill in Kirie. They have also been found in Ngoce and Kirigo hill in Evurori as well as Kavaci near Kiang’ombe in Nthawa. A few old mines can be found in Kiangunguru near Kiambere.
The most commonly types of gemstones found in Mbeere include:
- Blue and Green Aquamarine
- Red, Blue & Green Garnets
- Mica and many others
Kirigo hill is said to contain graphite and some diamonds. There are also magnesites, graphites and pegmites in other areas. Apparently, mining of gemstones in this area is primarily done by hand by the local artisans. It has been difficult to gather information regarding the existence of these precious stones since the entire process is done informally. It is not easy to establish the quantities of gemstones mined, their value, sales, clientele etc. There is therefore need to develop exploration and mining of gemstones in the County.
Quartz and Granite Processing in Embu County
Quartz is transparent or translucent rock that has many variants and covers a large area of the County particularly in the rocky areas. The most common types of quartz found in Mbeere include; smoky quartz, amethyst, milky quartz and rose quartz. It can be used for decorating buildings or for hard stone carvings.
Granite is a light-coloured igneous rock with large grains and is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of micas, amphiboles and other minerals. This mineral composition gives granite its characteristic red, pink, white or gray colour with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock. Granite is usually massive, tough, hard and thus one of the most popular building materials. It was used in antiquity for construction of both interior and exterior applications and is very durable.
Granite dimension stone is used in buildings, bridges, paving, monuments and other exterior projects. Polished granite slabs and tiles are used for kitchen countertops, tile floors, stair treads and other design elements. Granite is a prestige material used in projects to produce impressions of elegance and quality. Despite this immense commercial value, the two rocks (Quartz and Granite) in Embu County remain largely untapped.
Gravel and Pebbles in Embu County
Gravel (Kagoto) are small stone aggregates or rock fragments that have a general particle size ranging from granular gravel which is about 2 mm – 4 mm, pebble gravel which ranges 4mm – 64mm mean diameter. Gravel is an important commercial product with a number of applications. Construction of buildings, roads and other infrastructure require large quantities of gravel. There are abundant deposits of naturally occurring gravel in most parts of Embu County thus, a great potential to commercialize gravel in this area to boost construction industry and generate revenue.
Pebbles (ngengecu) can be found in almost all river beds in Embu County. They are naturally occurring, smooth, rounded stones measuring about 4mm – 64mm in size. They come in various colours and texture and can have streaks of quartz and different coloured sedimentary rocks. The most common colours of river pebbles include: Grey, black, brown, white and green. Owing to their beauty, they are mainly used to decorate buildings, gardens, landscaping and paved surfaces. They can also be polished and sold in curio shops or used to make items such as office paper weights.
Ballast Processing in Embu County
Ballast processing has a lot of potential in Embu County as extensive patches of volcanic rocks that weather easily are found in many places. They include: phonolites and basalts which are exploited for aggregates in areas around Rwika. Tuffs are found in Kamutungi, Munyori, Nganduri and Ngiori in Gachoka while in Siakago they are found at Kwamuguku quarries.
Stone chips processing (ballast) is also commercially done at Riamikuyu near Ishiara and Makengi areas in Embu,and Makutano in Mwea. Most of the areas in the county have stones which could be crashed for construction industry but this potential has not been fully exploited.
Embu Culture, Traditions, Beliefs and Religion
The Aembu believed that their god, ‘Ngai’, lived on the top of Mount Kenya. Prayers and sacrifices were traditionally made to this god. However, today, majority of Embu and Mbeere people are Christians.
Christianity entered Embu around the same time the British jurisdiction was established in 1906.
The year 1912, Church Missionary Society (Anglican Church) built the first church at Kigari in Embu County. This mission served the entire Embu and Mbeere later opening other missions such as Karungu in Embu, Kiritiri and Kanyuambora in Mbeere.
In 1922, the Catholic Church was founded when the “White Fathers” as they were then called, set up the first Catholic mission in Ngoire near Makengi in Embu. They later opened Catholic missions in Kyeni, Kevote in Embu and Siakago in Mbeere. Since then, both the Anglican and Catholic Churches have dominated in Embu and Mbeere. Similarly, other Christian denominations were set up hence various Christian churches have a presence in Embu County.
In Embu and Mbeere, there are Cathedrals and various Christian churches having the largest as St. Peter and Paul Cathedral based at Karurina near Embu town. It is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Embu. The cathedral displays a unique African-inspired design through its rooftop modeled in the shape of the peaks of Mt. Kenya. The Anglican Diocese of Embu has its headquarters at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Embu town. Furthermore, another Anglican cathedral is based at Siakago and is the headquarters of Mbeere diocese.
The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (P.C.E.A) has its central cathedral in Blue Valley, a suburb in Embu town. Other main stream churches such as the Salvation Army and African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (A.I.P.C.A) also have their headquarters in Embu town. There are also numerous evangelical churches such as Winners Chapel, Deliverance Church, Pentecostal Church, Full Gospel church and many others. .
There are a few Muslims residing mainly in major towns of the County however their population is growing steadily. Some of the mosques in Embu town are: Jamia Mosque located close to Embu Municipal Stadium, others are in Majengo, Dallas and Majimbo estates in Embu, at the Prisons and within the Administration Police base. Outside Embu town, there are mosques at Siakago, Kiambere and Runyenjes towns
The Embu and Mbeere tribes share many common customs and rituals. Traditionally, they had jointly owned sacred places called Matiiri. Circumcision is an important rite of passage for boys in Embu County just like most other bantu tribes.
Cultural Centres in Embu County
Despite the inherent potential, there are only three cultural centres developed in Embu County.
Embu Cultural Centre
This is a Government institution set up by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage that was started in the 1990s. The centre coordinates cultural activities in the entire county. It has buildings that host meeting halls and offices.
The staff are involved mostly in promotion of herbal medicine and the centre coordinates a network of herbal medicine stakeholders. The centre has plans to develop a botanical garden, build an amphitheatre, a herbal clinic, museum, art gallery and a curio shop.
Embu Cultural Village
This cultural village is located at the home of Simon Njururi near Kibugu market in Embu. It can be accessed from Kibugu-Nguviu road. Mr. Njururi is an artist, collector, sculptor and a curator and his quite passionate about his rare collection of art and cultural artifacts.
He has won several national awards and has also exhibited internationally. He has built some Embu traditional huts and continues to improve on the cultural aspects of his museum.
Some of the artefacts in his collection include:
- gourds (inya) of various types and uses (kagina, muceema, mbuva, mbuthu),
- calabashes (ciuga) for different uses,
- traditional weapons such as knives (mviu),
- spear (itumu), bow (uta), shield (ngo) and arrows (migwi).
Similarly, there are several musical instruments and play items. It is such an ideal centre for tourism and fine art.
Evurori Multicultural Centre
This centre is based at Njarange village near Ishiara market in Mbeere, Embu. The centre was started by an individual by name, Joseph Kabiero Ndwiga, a retired teacher who has a great enthusiasm for preserving culture.
The centre is registered as a group by the Registrar of Societies.
The members have a collection of 78 artefacts all displayed at the Centre such as:
- a grain silo (gitu or mururu),
- a rare left handed snail shell (ng’ari) which is traditionally believed to bring long life to those who hold it.
- there are also nests of young and small birds (ntiro or ndiro) as well as weaver bird nest (kiamba kia nthoonjo).
- Other items at this centre include:
- a bird trap (ikerenge),
- squirrel trap (ivari) and
- a traditional metal trap (gitengu) used to trap hyenas.
There are also:
- traditional woven bags carried by women (ciondo),
- bags carried by old men (ithatwa or mbooro ya muthuri),
- traditionally woven tray (gitararu kia muugu),
- spear (itumu),
- bow and arrows (uta na migwi) and their sheath (thiaka),
- musical instruments including traditional mbeere drums (ngutha), dancing bells (ciigamba), blowing horns (coro), black smith pipes (ngerwa na muugua), head gears worn during dances (ngovia cia ngoroi) and also traditional clothing (turithi) among others.
The centre boasts of a garden where traditional crops such as cowpeas, sorghum, millet, medicinal shrubs and herbs are grown.
The centre has opened a liaison office at Ishiara market to boost tourism and educational roles as it upholds conservation of traditional artefacts, social ideals and music.
Embu County Jobs opportunities for all qualified personnel and those who would wish to work with Embu County government. Jobs in Embu County are posted on the county website.
Jobs in Embu County are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access these Embu county jobs advertisement click the link: Embu County Jobs for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Embu County Tenders
Embu county tenders are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access tenders in Embu county click the link: http://www.embu.go.ke/ for the latest tender opportunities in the county.
Embu County Governor and Deputy Governor
The current governor of Embu County is Hon. Martin Nyaga Wambora and the deputy governor is Hon. Dorothy Nditi Muchungu.
Constituencies in Embu County
- Manyatta Constituency
- Runyenjes Constituency
- Gachoka Constituency
- Siakago Constituency
Registered Voters in Embu County
|Consituency||Eligible Voters||Registered Voters||Proportion of Registered Voters|
Embu County Wards
Details about Embu County Wards will be updated soon…
Facts About Embu County
Area (Km 2): 2,818 Km 2
Climate/Weather: The temperature ranges from a minimum of 12 °C to a maximum of 27.0 °C. The average annual rainfall is 1495mm.
Road Network: Bitumen Surface (120 Km), Gravel Surface (402 Km), Earth Surface (914.3 Km)
Key National Monument(s): None
Embu County Population – Population of Embu County
Population: 543,221 (Male – 267,609, Female – 275,612)
Population Density: 193 people/km2
National Percentage: 1.34 %
Annual Growth Rate: 1.7 % (Embu) 3.0 % (Mbeere)
Population Density per Consituency;
- Manyatta – 605 People/ Km2
- Runyejes – 590 People/ Km2
- Mbeere North – 122 People/ km2
- Mbeere South – 104/ Km2
- 1-5 Years (2.5% of total population)
- 6- 13 Years (19.8% of total population)
- 14-17 years (8.4% of total population)
- 15-29 years (27.3% of the total population)
- 15-64years (57.2% of total population)
Number of Households: 131,683
Government of Embu County
County Capital: Embu Town (proposed)
Number of Constituencies (2010): 4 (Gachoka, Manyatta, Runyenjes, Siakago)
Registered Voters: 225,712
National percentage: 1.8 %
Number of Districts (2009): 2 (Embu, Mbeere)
Number of Local Authorities (2010): 4 (Embu and Runyenjes Municipal Councils, County Councils of Embu and Mbeere)
Economy of Embu County
Poverty Level: 40.8 %
Age Dependency Ratio: 100:74.7
Resources: Wildlife, Livestock, Arable Land, Water, Pasture, Forests, Hills
Tourist Attractions: Waterfalls, Kimiriri and Karue Hills
Financial Services: 8 Commercial Banks, 15 Micro-Finance
Main Economic Activities/industries: Dairy Farming, Coffee, Tea, Pyrethrum, Commercial Businesses
Agricultural products: Maize, Beans, Yams, Cassava, Millet, Sorghum, Bananas, Livestock Products
Education in Embu County
Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (494), Secondary (147)
Primary: Enrolment (125,418)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:32 (Public Schools)
Secondary: Enrolment (27,173)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:23 (Public Schools)
Tertiary: Over 15 (Includes a University Affiliate College, Youth Polytechnics, Teacher Training Colleges, Technical Colleges, and Several Commercial Colleges)
Adult Literacy Classes: Enrolment; Over 1,500
Health in Embu County
Health Facilities: 133 – Provincial General Hospital (1), District Hospitals (2), Sub- District Hospitals (2), Dispensaries (74), Health Centres (12), Medical Clinics (34), Nursing Homes (2), Maternity Home (1), Others (5)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:10,474 (Embu), 1:57,000 (Mbeere)
Infant Mortality Rates: 56/1000 (Embu), 71/1000 (Mbeere)
Under Five Mortality Rates: 6/1000 (Embu), 119/1000 (Mbeere)
Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, URTI, Skin Diseases, Intestinal Worms, Eye Infections, Diarrhoea
Notable Hospitals: Embu Provincial General Hospital, Mbeere District Hospital, Runyenjes District Hospital
Embu County Map
Embu County Contacts
+254 68 30686
+254 68 30656
+254 771 204 003
+254 703 192 924