West Pokot County


West Pokot County  is located in the Rift Valley, it borders the following counties; Turkana to the North, Baringo to the East, Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans Nzoia to the South, and The Republic of Uganda to the West.

Kapenguria is the capital town of West Pokot County and home to the infamous Turkwel Hydro-electric power plant which serves the national grid with approximately 105MW of power.

Pokot History

The Pokot people (commonly spelled Pokoot) live in West Pokot County and Baringo County in Kenya and in the Pokot District of the Eastern Karamoja Region in Uganda. They speak Pokoot, a language of the Southern Nilotic language family which is close to the Marakwet, Nandi, Tugen and other members of the Kalenjin grouping.

Kenya’s 2009 census puts the total number of Pokot speakers at about 620,000 in Kenya. In addition, there are close to 100,000 Pokot speakers in Uganda. According to the census, there were 133,000 Pokot speakers in Baringo County and close to 500,000 in West Pokot County. A fair estimate indicates that there are close to 700,000 Pokot speakers in Kenya and Uganda.

Types of Art

Most Pokot art is associated with body ornamentation, including beadwork and intricate coiffures and wigs that are worn by young men to signal their membership in a given age-grade.
Other forms of art include richly patinated gourds and containers used by women for storage.
Religion

Tororot is considered the supreme deity among Pokot.

Prayers and offerings are made to him during communal gatherings, including feasts and dances. Such ceremonies are usually presided over by a community elder. Diviners and medicine men also play a significant role in maintaining spiritual balance within the community.

Dances and feasts are held to thank the god for the generosity and abundance, which he bestows upon Pokot communities.

Political System of the Pokot People

Pokot society is governed through a series of age-grades. Group membership is determined by the age at which one undergoes initiation. For young men this occurs between ages fifteen and twenty, while for young women it usually occurs around age twelve at the onset of menarche.

After initiation, young people are allowed to marry and are permitted to begin participating in local economic activities. Young men and women form close bonds with other members of their initiation groups, and these bonds serve for future political ties.

When a man or woman reaches old age among Pokot, he or she is accorded a certain degree of status and respect. Responsibilities of elders include presiding over important community decisions, festivals, and religious ceremonies.\

Economic Activities in West Pokot County

Agricultural Farming

Agriculture is the backbone of West Pokot County, the major agricultural products grown in West Pokot County are Food crops like Maize, Potatoes, Onions among others while the Cash crops grown in West Pokot County are among others Pyrethram, Coffee and Tea

Food Crops

The term non food crop applies to the use of agricultural crops for uses other than human or animal consumption (as feed).

Cash Crops

West Pokot County is home to various cash crops like coffee, Pyrethram and Tea. In earlier times cash crops were usually only a small (but vital) part of a farm’s total yield, while today, especially in the developed countries, almost all crops are mainly grown for revenue.
In least developed countries, cash crops are usually crops which attract demand in more developed nations, and hence have some export value.

Livestock Keeping

livestock farming is raising of animals for use or for pleasure. Livestock farming includes keeping of both beef and dairy cattle, sheep, goats and camels; the raising of birds commercially for meat or eggs (i.e., chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, and squabs).

Tourism in West Pokot County

Nasolot National Reserve

Nasolot National Reserve was gazetted in 1979 and consists 9,200 hectares of beautifully rugged land. It is located to the north of Mount Melo at over 3,000 metres.
There are some spectacular views to be had, although most of the reserve is plains. Because of its remote location there are few visitors.
Climatic conditions – Hot and arid

Major Attractions – Rocky out crop at the periphery of the reserve called Nasolot Hill; game viewing. Wildlife – Elephant, lesser kudu, bushbuck, duiker, lion, leopard, Kirks dik-dik, spotted hyena, jackal, impala, Sykes monkey, beisa and fringe-eared oryx, waterbuck, olive baboon, buffalo, gazelle and hippo.

Access – Road: The reserve is 146 km north of Kitale to the west of the A1 Kitale-Lodwar road. The reserves gate lies 6.2 km off the A1 main road. Air: There are air strips at Turkwell dam and Kaputirr
Accommodation – There are no accommodation options in the reserve. However self-catering accommodation and a campsite is available at the Marich Pass Field Studies Centre located 80 km south of the reserve off the A1 Kitale- Lodwar road.

Best time to visit – All year round Activities – Game viewing, bird watching, sport fishing and boating aturkwell dam, nature walks camping.

Kapenguria Museum

Kapenguria museum reflects Kenya’s political history. The infamous Kapenguria trial of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kungu Karumba, Fred Kubai, Paul Ngei. Bildad Kaggia and Hon. Ramogi Achieng Oneko was held in Kapenguria. The six leading Kenyan nationalists were arrested in 1952, tried at Kapenguria in 1952-3, and imprisoned thereafter in Northern Kenya. All of them have since passed on.

West Pokot County Resources

Turkwel Hydro Power Plant

Turkwel Power Station is one of the major hydro-electric power stations in Kenya. It is situated in north-western Kenya, on the border of Turkana and West Pokot and Pokot North districts, approximately 550 km from Nairobi.

The station was conceived as a multi purpose project comprising hydro-power, agricultural, fisheries and tourism development. It was constructed under the control of KVDA from 1986 to 1991. Turkwel Power Station has the capacity of 106MW.The power produced is connected to the national grid at Lessos sub-station on a 220KV transmission line over a distance of 230 kilometres

It generates approx. 10% of the national electricity supply

Limestone Mining

Limestone MiningWest Pokot County is endowed with substantial limestone deposits. A feasibility study carried out in the early 1980s by Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) and a Canadian firm M/s Lavalin International identified more than five million tonnes of high-grade limestone and more than 15 million tonnes of moderate magnesium limestone. Their processing would translate into 300,000 tonnes of cement annually

The feasibility study by KVDA and Lavalin International Limited showed that Ortum had a reserve of 5.9 millions tonnes of limestone, which would be blended with low grade reserve of between 12 and 17 million tonnes of the same raw materials at Chepchoi. The limestone deposits would sustain a cement crushing plant for more than 50 years, which means a cement factory would be viable. The Government, through the ministries of Trade and Industry and Regional Development and the department of Mines and Geology have been petitioned to look for an investor to set up a cement factory.

West Pokot County Map

West Pokot County Map

West Pokot County Map

Pokot County – Livehood Zones

West Pokot County Livehood Zones

West Pokot County Livehood Zones

Facts about West Pokot County

Geography of West Pokot County

West Pokot County  is located in the Rift Valley, it borders the following counties; Turkana to the North, Baringo to the East, Elgeyo Marakwet and Trans Nzoia to the South, and The Republic of Uganda to the West.

Area (Km 2): 9,169.4 Km 2

Climate/Weather: Rainfall varies from 400mm (lowlands) to 1,500mm (highlands) per annum. Temperature ranges from a minimum of 10 °C to a maximum of 30 °C in different parts of the county.

 Road Network: Bitumen Surface (151 Km), Gravel Surface (349 Km), Earth Surface (697 Km)

 Key National Monument(s): Nasolot Game Reserve, Kapenguria Prison Museum

 Population of West Pokot County

 Population: 512,690 (Male – 50 %, Female – 50-%)

 Population Density: 56 people per Km 2

National Percentage: 1.33 %

Annual Growth Rate: 3.1 %

 Age Distribution: 0-14 years (52.2 %), 15-64 years (45.1 %), 65+ years (2.7 %)

Number of Households: 93,777

 Government of West Pokot County

 County Capital: Kapenguria Town (proposed)

Number of Constituencies (2010): 3 (Kacheliba, Kapenguria, Sigor)

 Registered Voters: 114,718

 National percentage: 0.9 %

 Number of Districts (2009): 3 (West Pokot, Pokot North, Pokot Central)

 Number of Local Authorities (2010): 3 (County Council of Pokot, Chepararia Town Council, and Kapenguria Municipal Council)

 Economy of West Pokot County

 Poverty Level: 69.4 %

Age Dependency Ratio: 100:122

 Resources: Land, Water, Wildlife, Livestock, Pasture, Forests, Minerals, Medicinal Plants, Solar, Wind Energy

Tourist Attractions: Wildlife, Scenic Sites, Eco-tourism, Escarpments, Kapenguria Museum, Turkwel Hydro-Power Plant

 Financial Services: 2 Commercial Banks, 3 Micro-Finance

Main Economic Activities/industries: Nomadic Pastoralism, Mining, Commercial Businesses

 Agricultural products: Livestock Products, Maize, Beans

 Education inWest Pokot County

 Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (318), Secondary (34)

 Primary: Enrolment (105,452)

 Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:50 (Public Schools)

 Secondary: Enrolment (9,897)

 Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:36 (Public Schools)

 Tertiary: Data Not Available

 Adult Literacy Classes: Enrolment; Over 1,400

 Health in West Pokot County

 Health Facilities: 31 – District Hospitals (1), Dispensaries (27), Health Centres (3)

 Doctor to Population Ratio: 1: 84,528

 Infant Mortality Rates: 108 /1000

 Under Five Mortality Rates: 206 /1000

 Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Respiratory Tract Infections, Diarrhoea, Skin Infections

 Notable Hospitals: Kapenguria District Hospital

West Pokot County - Contact and Website

West Pokot County
PO Box 222 – 30600,
Kapenguria

Telephone: 0532014000
Mail: info@westpokot.go.ke
Websitehttp://www.westpokot.go.ke/

 
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