Isiolo County

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Isiolo County number 011 is located in the upper eastern region of Kenya. It borders seven counties with Garissa County to the east, Wajir County to the North East, Meru County to the South West, Samburu County to the East, Marsabit County to the North West, Kitui County to the South West and Tana River County to the south-east.


Isiolo town is the administrative capital of the county and geographically, is located right at the centre of Kenya.


According to the 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census, the population stands at 143,294 with a population density of 5.66 people per Kmand an annual growth rate of 1.45%. The age distribution is; 0-14 years at 44 %, 15-64 years at 52 % and 65 years and above at 4%.

Tourist Attractions

The major attractions in the County are the Isiolo Big five (Grevy Zebra, Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Lion and the reticulated giraffe). The Isiolo Big Five are found in the Buffalo springs game reserve bordering Samburu game reserve, Shaba game reserve and Bisnadi game reserve near Meru game reserve and Lewa Conservancy.

These game reserves are part of the tourist circuit that spans Masai Mara, Samburu-Isiolo, Lewa and Mt Kenya.

They house; The Sarova Lodge, Simba Lodge and Bisinadi Lodges.


Temperatures range from a minimum of 120C to a maximum of 280C. Rainfall ranges from 150mm to 650 mm per annum typical of ASALs in Kenya.

Road networks

The total road network as at 2007 is 387.9km with bitumen at 11Km, gravel surface at 87.6 Km and earth surface at 289.3Km.

Education and Literacy

As at 2007, the County had 91 Primary schools with an enrolment of 24,004, a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:38.6 and 11 Secondary schools with an enrolment of 2,155 with a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:26.

The only Tertiary Institution is the Isiolo Youth Polytechnic.

Financial Services

6 Commercial bank branches and 1 Micro-Finance Institution.


Isiolo County has 26 health facilities with 1 District Hospital, 24 Dispensaries and one Health Centre.

Political Leadership

With the adoption of the new constitution in 2010 which ushered in the devolved system of governance, the Governor is the Executive authority in the County together with his deputy, the Senator is to represent the County at the Senate and through the affirmation of women and youth rights, the Woman Representative is to represent the County’s women and youth issues at the National Assembly.





Isiolo County has only two (2) constituencies divided into 10 electoral wards, Isiolo North with 7 and Isiolo South with 3 wards.


Main Economic Activities include Pastoralism, subsistence agriculture, small-scale trade and limited harvesting of gum Arabica resin. Isiolians also derive their livelihood from entertaining tourists who visit seasonally to watch the Isiolo big five.

The main agricultural products are beef, milk and limited cultivation of crops.

Natural resources are forests, wildlife, building sand, water, pasture, land and potential for mining of; graphite, sapphire, feldspar, muscovite, kaoline, beryl, copper, corundum, garnet, bismuth, silica, iron ore and pyrite.

The LAPSSET corridor which seeks to link Lamu Port in Kenya to Ethiopia and South Sudan with Isiolo at the centre and the construction of the Isiolo International Airport and Isiolo Resort City is set to open up Isiolo County. Already, the building of the 501 km Isiolo-Moyale highway, which links Kenya to Ethiopia, is currently on-going with 136km from Isiolo to Merille so far complete and the Isiolo abbatoir is almost at completion.

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