Kisii County News
Kisii County borders Nyamira County to the North East, Narok County to the South and Homabay county and Migori County to the West. The County lies between latitude 00 30’ and 100 South and longitude 340 38’ and 350 East. It covers an area of 1,302km2, a population of 1,152,282 people as per the 2009 census.
Geography, Climate and Weather of Kisii County
Kisii County is characterized by a hilly topography with several ridges and valleys. It can be divided into three main topographical zones. The first zone cover areas lying below 1,500m above sea level located on the western boundary and include parts of Suneka, Marani and Nyamarambe. The second zone covers areas lying between 1500-1800m above sea level located in the Western parts of Keumbu and Sameta divisions, Eastern Marani and Gucha River basin.
The third zone covers areas lying above 1800m above sea level in parts of eastern and southern Keumbu, Masaba and Mosocho.
The most notable features of these topographical zones are hills of Sameta (1970m), Nyamasibi (2170m), Kiong’anyo (1710m), Kiamwasi (1785m), Kiongongi, Kiombeta, Sombogo, Nyanchwa and Kegochi hills. The general slope of the land is from east to west. The county is dissected by permanent rivers which flow westwards into Lake Victoria. Among the notable ones are Kuja, Mogusii, and Riana and Iyabe rivers. There are also depressions and valleys.
Seventy five percent of the county has red volcanic soils (nitosols) which are deep in organic matter. The rest of the county has clay soils which have poor drainage (phaezems), red loams and sandy soils. In the valley bottoms, there exist black cotton soils (verisols) and organic peat soils (phanosols).The growth of cash crops such as tea, coffee, pyrethrum and subsistence crops such as maize, beans and potatoes are supported by the red volcanic soils.
The county can be divided into three ecological zones comprising the upper midland (UM) 75%, Lower Highland (LH) 20%, and Lower Midland (LM) 5%.About 78% of the county is arable of which 57% is under crop.
Kisii County exhibits a highland equatorial climate resulting into a bimodal rainfall pattern with average annual rainfall of 1500m with the long rains between March and June while the short rains are received from September to November. The months of July and January are relatively dry. The maximum temperatures in the county range between 21°C – 30°C while the minimum temperatures range between 15°C – 20°C.
The high and reliable rainfall coupled with moderate temperatures is suitable for growing crops like tea, coffee, pyrethrum, maize, beans and bananas as well dairy farming.
The Demographic features of the county which include population size, composition, density and distribution are discussed in the following section.
Population Size and Composition
Based on the 2009 Population and Housing Census, the county population is 1,152,282 comprising 550,464 males and 601,818 females respectively. This population is projected at 1,226,873 in 2012 consisting of 536,062 males and 640,811 females. With a growth rate of 2.1%, the population is estimated to be 1,306,652 in 2015 with 624,171 males and 682,481 females and is projected at 1,362,779 with 650,982 males and 711,797 females by 2017.
More About Kisii County
Kisii County is among the most picturesque and naturally endowed counties in Kenya. Blessed with breath-taking hills and valleys interspersed by all-year-round clear ﬂowing rivers, the county is a beehive of agricultural and commercial activities thanks to the abundant rainfall and the industrious spirit of our people.
Over seventy ﬁve per cent of Kisii county has red volcanic soils which are deep in organic matter best suited for the growth of cash crops such as tea, coffee, pyrethrum, and sugarcane and food crops such as maize, bananas, beans and potatoes making it one of the very few counties which has never received food aid occasioned by drought.
Kisii Town, the headquarters of the county, is the commercial hub in the region serving the bordering counties of Nyamira, Narok, Homabay and Migori and a total population of over four million. This is conﬁrmed by the presence of 17 commercial banking and ﬁnancial institutions’ branches including the long existing Kenya Commercial Bank, Barclay’s Bank, National Bank and Co-operative Bank and newer entrants such as Equity Bank, Eco-Bank, and K-Rep Bank, all doing thriving business. Indeed Kisii County contributes 60 per cent of the money market handled by the Central Bank in Nyanza Region. Due to this huge turnover of the business handled by these institutions, the Government of Kisii County has written to the Central Bank to establish a Kenya Central Bank branch in Kisii Town to reduce the cost of handling money, further enhancing the attractiveness of the county in terms of investment.
The county and Kisii Town in particular, also hosts all the major supermarket chain stores such as Nakumatt, Naivas,Tusky’s, and Uchumi (now making a comeback) and the local Kisiimatt, all taking advantage of the large population and the positioning of the town.
There are also numerous other business ventures such as hotels, restaurants, sports pubs, among other commercial activities. The county also hosts one of the seven Coca-Cola bottling and distribution plants in Kenya. in some cases, these businesses are owned by investors from outside Kisii County testifying to the cosmopolitan nature of the town. All these endowments make Kisii County an investor’s paradise that one cannot afford to miss out on.
Location of Kisii County
Kisii county is located in western Kenya. It has a population of 1 152 282 as per the 2008 census, 245,029 households and covers an area of 1,317.4 sq km.
The population density stands at 874.7 people per sq. km and 51% of the population live below the poverty line.
Kisii County is a major business hub in the Western region.
Due to the massive circulation of money in the region, Kisii town has attracted a total of 17 commercial banks.
Kisii is among the ﬁrst major towns after the Kenya Tanzania boarder and serves as the ﬁrst stop for traders and business community within region.
The ﬂooding of banks in the county is a clear indication that the town is an economic powerhouse in the region.
The town also receives lots of cash from the Diaspora.
Some of the banks that have set up shop in Kisii include, Diamond Trust, Standard Chartered, Kenya Women and Finance Trust, Family Bank, Bank of Africa, Equity, Kenya Commercial, K-Rep, Co-operative, National Bank, Post Bank, CFC Stanbic, Barclays, Ecobank and Credit Bank.
About 90 percent of the residents rely on agriculture for economic empowerment with the main activities being subsistence farming, soapstone carvings, vegetable, dairy, tea, coffee and small scale farming.
Kisii receives frequent convectional rains and enjoys a great highland climate.
The county has nine constituencies and 10 sub-counties. It is a vibrant urban and commercial centre with the town having about 85,000 residents.
According to latest national population and housing census of 2009, it has a large dependent metropolitan population of over 100,000 residents.
Kisii is a bustling town and home to several businesses, organizations, educational institutions and government agencies.
Due to its high population density, the Ministry of Local Government proposed for a spatial modern plan meant to expand the town jurisdiction from Nyakoe, Suneka, to kegati areas of 72 Sq km. The population density stands at 2862 per km.
Economy of Kisii County
The economy of Kisii town today is derived from commerce and agriculture. Kisii town is dotted with tall commercial buildings and is ever bustling with activity. It has several businesses dealing in food processing, health care and education.
Although it has are few industrial setups, the county has the potential for the establishment of large agro-based industries.
Kisii town also hosts large supermarket chain stores – Naivas, Uchumi, Nakumatt and Tuskeys.
Currently, the town hosts 17 commercial banking and ﬁnancial institutions. The banks have taken advantage of the large population and the positioning of Kisii as a major economic powerhouse in the western region.
There are also numerous other businesses such as the hospitality sector with hotels, bars, restaurants, sports pubs, among other commercial activities. The county has an airstrip located in South West Suneka where charted planes can land.
From Kisii, it is easy to get to Tabaka Soapstone quarries, the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok, Lambwe Valley Game Reserve in South Nyanza, Kisumu city and the Kenya/ border point.
Air service to Kisii is minimal. However, chartered ﬂights mainly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport air ﬂight passengers to Suneka Airstrip situated 9 km southwest of the town.
Kisii has several stadia at each sub-county with the main one being the Gusii Stadium that is a popular venue for meetings and sports tournaments.
Golf is mainly played by middle and the upper income bracket who are members of Kisii Golf & Sports Club.
Kisii (Level 5) General Hospital and Kisii University are the largest central government-owned facilities in the county.
However, the town has several private hospitals and medical centres. These include the Agha khan, Hema, Getembe, Christa Marianne, Nyangena and Bosongo Medical Center.
Main crops produced
The main crops produced include: maize, bananas, beans, potatoes, tea, sugarcane, coffee and horticultural crops.
Main Livestock bred
The main livestock bred in Kisii County are; Dairy cattle and Zebu, goats, sheep, donkeys, poultry among others.
Main fishing activities
The county has 677 fish farmers with 3,100 fish ponds with each of the seven constituencies having at least 300 fish ponds. Tilapia and Cat fish are the main types of fish grown.
Education in Kisii County
Academic institutions in the municipality and outlying areas include Kisii National School, Our Lady of Lourdes Girls’ High School, Nyabururu, Kereri Girls’ High School, Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho, St. Mary’s Mosocho, ltierio High School, Nyanchwa High School, Kioge Girls’ Nyabigena, Nduru, Nyamache, Riokindo Boys, St Angela Sengera Sameta High School among many others.
Notable private schools such as Sakagwa School, Rehema School, Set Green Hill, AIC, Gusii Highlights Academy, Elsa Academy, Elimu Academy Imperial Primary School are located in this county.
Municipal schools such as Kisii Primary School, Jogoo Primary School, Nyanchwa Primary, Getembe Primary are based in the town.
Due the large population and ever-increasing demand for education, most public universities and colleges have set up campuses in Kisii town.
Notable institutions that have set up shop in the town include the University of Nairobi, Egerton University, Jomo Kenyatta University, Kenya Methodist, African Nazarene, Mount Kenya, Bondo University and Narok University College.
There are also several middle level colleges and polytechniques. These include Gusii Institute, Kenya Institute of Management, Kisii College of Accountancy, St. Annes College, Kisii DICECE (Government College Training Early Childhood Teachers) and many more
Recreation in Kisii County
Kisii Library, a branch of the Kenya National Library Service, serves the local residents.
The facility is located near the centre of the town opposite the County Government ofﬁces.
For sports lovers, the Gusii Stadium is the venue for scheduled Kenya Premier League (KPL) soccer tournaments and locally organized sporting events.
Kisii Golf Course & Sports Club is the place for golf lovers and relaxation.
The town has several other leisure and entertainment venues. The town boasts a diverse collection of country and garden hotels. These include Kisii Hotel, Zonic, Storm, Nile Restaurant, Ufanisi Resort, Nyakoe, Mash Park, St. Vincent’s, May ﬂower, Dados, Magharibi, Mwalimu International, Dallas, Josam among others.
It also has numerous bars, sports pubs and many up market restaurants which are popular with both visitors and residents alike.
The town also boasts a couple of nightclubs – The Backyard and Club Webs among others.
Transport in Kisii County
The County has a network of 1,132.598 km of classified roads and 435km of rural access roads. About 170.848kms of the roads are tarmacked, 292.55 km graveled, while 669.2 km are earth roads. These roads serve high agricultural potential areas. Though the roads are well distributed, poor maintenance and hilly terrain of the county make them inaccessible during the rainy season.
The county has one airstrip at Suneka in Kisii South district which need to be expanded to allow landing of commercial jets to facilitate movement from the county to major towns like Kisumu, Eldoret and Nairobi and even outside the country.
Major towns centres in Kisii County
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Financial Institutions in Kisii County
There are ten major banks in the county namely; Barclays Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Cooperative Bank, Equity Bank, Bank of Africa, Standard Chartered, CFC Stanbic, Diamond Trust Bank, Eco- Bank and National Bank. There are five major micro-finance institutions namely: K-Rep, Family Bank, Credit Bank, KWFT and Post Bank. The major SACCOs in the county are Mwalimu SACCO, Wakenya Pamoja, Ogembo Tea SACCO, AFC and Kenyenya SACCO.
Education in Kisii County
The County of Kisii has 467 primary schools and 334 secondary schools of which two are national schools namely; Kisii Boys and Nyabururu Girls High Schools. There is no national polytechnic in the county. The county has 7 colleges, one training institute, 1 university College and 8 university campuses of both public and private universities.
Tourist Attractions in Kisii County
There are potential tourist attractions sites like Tabaka soapstone, river kuja among others which need to be exploited.
Only a few wild animals like porcupines, monkeys, snakes and various species of birds live in the bushy river valleys. There are no registered game parks in the county but some geological sites can offer good tourist sites.
Tourist class hotels/restaurants
Kisii County does not have tourist class hotels/restaurants at the moment, but there is need to put up such hotels to attract tourists from Masai Mara in the Narok county and Ruma Park in Homabay county.
Hospitals in Kisii County
There are 71 level 2, 18 level 3, 8 level 4 and 1 level 5 hospitals in the county which include private and mission hospitals. The government operates about 65% of the facilities while the rest are managed by the private and mission hospitals.
Investment Opportunities in Kisii County
Various investment opportunities exist for value-addition in agriculture,soapstone mining and processing, the hospitality industry, real estate development, hydro and waste management among others. The following are some of the areas already identiﬁed as potential areas for investment.
Coffee: The Arabica coffee grown in Kisii County is among the best in the world yet is unknown as it is used for blending with coffee from other countries so as to improve their quality. The county is seeking for an investor to set up a facility to process, brand and market this unique product.
Tea: The top ranked tea at the Mombasa auction is from Kisii County and like in coffee we are seeking for an investor to brand and market our tea both locally and internationally. An investment opportunity also exists in the area of a green tea factory.
Fruit Processing: The County has an abundant supply of fruits (passion fruit, pineapples, tomatoes, oranges) for a fruit processing plant. This can be juice extraction, canning, jams, marmalade, etc. Also, there is an oversupply of avocados to support a medium sized plant to process the fruit into various products.
Pyrethrum: Kisii County was at one time the world leader in the production of pyrethrum which it lost due to the introduction of synthetic products. With the world getting more environmentally aware, the demand for natural solutions has grown. An investment opportunity exists for a plant to extract pyrethrin as an insecticide.
Banana: Various varieties of bananas grow in the county making this the most attractive agro- product for value addition due to its abundance. Investors are welcome to set up plants to process this readily available produce into various products including juice, wafers, crisps, cakes, ﬂour etc.
Sugarcane: Investors are invited to set up a sugarcane factory to process the cane in South Mogirango and Transmara which is currently being transported over long distances to SONY Sugar in Migori County with the consequential damage to our roads.
Energy: Various investment opportunities exist in the energy sector. The Gucha River which ﬂows into Lake Victoria has three major falls with potential for mini-hydro plants. A captive market exists within the county for the electricity generated including selling to the national grid. Another investment opportunity is in green energy (solar panels and wind mills) which have great potential in view of the long hours of sunshine and strong winds experienced in the county.
Mining; Kisii County has two main mining potentials: soapstone and granite. Investors are invited for mining and setting up a plant for the manufacture of tiles, chalk and powder from soapstone. Another investment opportunity exists in the mining of granite, an important component in the manufacture of tiles.
Housing: Given a total population of close to 100,000 residents in Kisii Town alone, this is a prime investment opportunity as there are currently no housing estates in the county. Housing estates are required in all major urban centres in the nine sub-counties. Serious investors will be assisted by the county in identifying land for setting up high, medium and low level income housing estates.
Hospitality: This is an area whose potential has not been fully exploited. The highest rated hotel in the whole of Kisii County is two star. Investors are invited to establish tourist class hotels with conference facilities and resorts to attract eco-tourism and niche products tourism (health, agricultural, nature, sports, cuisine, and cultural).
Livestock: Potential exists for the establishment of a feed meal plant to meet the needs of livestock and chicken farmers.
Kisii County Jobs
Kisii County Jobs opportunities for all qualified personnel and those who would wish to work with Kisii County government. Jobs in Kisii County are posted on the county website.
Jobs in Kisii County are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access these Kisii county jobs advertisement click the link: Kisii County Jobs for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Kisii County Tenders
Kisii county tenders are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access tenders in Kisii county click the link: http://www.kisii.go.ke/index.php/tenders-list for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Kisii County Governor and Deputy Governor
The current governor of Kisii County is Hon. James Ongwae and the deputy governor is Hon. Joash Maangi.
Constituencies in Kisii County
- Bonchari Constituency
- South Mugirango Constituency
- Bomachoge Constituency
- Mugirango Constituency
- Bobasi Constituency
- Gucha Constituency
- Nyaribari Masaba Constituency
- Nyaribari Chache Constituency
- Marani Constituency
- Mosocho Constituency
Kisii County Wards
Details about Kisii County Wards will be updated soon…
Facts About Kisii County
Kisii County is located to the south east of Lake Victoria and is bordered by six counties with Narok to the south, Migori to the west, Homa Bay to the north west, Kisumu to the north, Bomet to the south east and Nyamira to the east.
Area (Km 2): 1,317.4 Km 2
Climate/Weather: Has two rainfall seasons; Short (September – November) and Long (February – June), of over 1,500mm per annum with temperatures ranging from 16 0C to 27 0C.
Road Network: Bitumen Surface 73 Km, Gravel & Earth Surface 409 Km – (Kisii Central District)
Kisii County Population
Population: 1,152,282 (Male – 48 %, Female – 52%)
Population Density: 874.7 people per Km 2
National Percentage: 2.9 %
Annual Growth Rate: 2.75% (2009)
Age Distribution: 0-14 years (45%), 15-64 years (51.6 %), 65+ years (3.4%)
Number of households: 245,029
Kisii County Government
County Capital: Kisii Town (proposed)
Number of Constituencies (2010): 7 (Bobasi, Bonchari, Bomachoge, Kitutu Chache, Nyaribari Chache, Nyaribari Masaba, and South Mugirango)
Registered Voters: 364,892
National percentage: 2.9 %
Number of Local Authorities (2010): 11 (Town Councils of Keroka, Suneka, Masimba, Ogembo, Nyamarambe, Nyamache and Tabaka. County Councils of Kisii, Gusii, Gucha and Municipal Councils of Kisii.
Economy of Kisii County
Poverty Level: 51% of population live below poverty line
Age Dependency Ratio: 100:94
Resources: Soapstone, Arable land
Financial Services: More than 8 commercial banks, over 6 micro-finance Institutions
Main Economic Activities/industries: Subsistence agriculture, vegetable farming, small-scale trade, dairy farming, tea and coffee growing, commercial businesses and soapstone carvings.
Agricultural products: Tea, coffee, bananas, tomatoes, vegetables, dairy products, maize, sugarcane.
Education in Kisii County
Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (1,101), Secondary (363),
Primary: Total Enrolment (273,111)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1: 41 (Public Schools)
Secondary: Total Enrolment (60,098)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1: 27.7 (Public Schools)
Tertiary: Over 70 (Colleges, Universities and Polytechnics)
Adult Literacy Classes: Total Enrolment (Over 1,600)
Health in Kisii County
Health Facilities: District Hospitals (4), Sub-District Hospitals (9), Dispensaries (80), Health Centres (23), Medical Clinics (12), Nursing Homes (2) Others (6)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:34,992
Infant Mortality Rates: 90/1000 (Kisii District)
Under Five Mortality Rates: 109/1000
Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, diarrhoea, pneumonia, URTI infections, HIV/Aids
Notable Hospitals: Gucha and Kisii District Hospitals and Tabaka Mission Hospital.
Kisii County Contacts
P.O. Box 4550
+254 5820 30005/208
+254 5820 30208