Uasin Gishu County
Uasin Gishu County number 027 is situated in the mid west of Kenya’s Rift Valley and shares common borders with Trans Nzoia County to the North, Elgeyo Marakwet County to the East, Baringo County to the South East, Kericho County to the South, Nandi County to the South West and Kakamega County to the North West.
It lies between Longitudes 340 50‟ East and 350 37‟ West and Latitudes 00 03‟ South and 00 55‟ North. The county is named after the Ilwuasinkishu Maasai clan who initially used the area for grazing. It is also home to Kenya’s Deputy President William Samoei Ruto.
Eldoret is the largest city and the administrative capital of Uasin Gishu County. Situated some 330Km Northwest of Nairobi, it is among the fastest growing cities in Kenya. The town got its name from a Maasai word ‘Eldore’ – which means a ‘stony river’, in reference to the nearby Sosioni River. There are other urban centres but the major six are Burnt Forest, Matunda, Turbo, Moiben, Kesses and Kapsaret.
The County is divided into six sub-counties namely: Turbo, Soy, Ainabkoi, Moiben, Kessess and Kapseret. The sub-counties are further subdivided into fifty one locations and ninety seven sub-locations.
According to the 2009 Population and Housing Census, the total population of Uasin Gishu County stood at 894,179. With a population growth rate of 3.8%, the total population is projected to grow to 1,211,853 by 2017. The population density is 267 persons per sq. Km. which is expected to increase to 362 persons per sq. km. by 2017.
In 2012, the population age group between 0 to 14 years was 41.4%, while the economically active age group of between 15 and 64 years accounted for 55.7% and those above 64 years accounting for 2.9% of the total population.
The County does not have any tourist attractions but is home to high altitude athlete training grounds. It is also home to reknown athletes including the former Olympic champion Kipchoge Keino and world’s 800m champion Janet Jepkosgei as well World Athletics champions Wilson Kipketer and Wilfred Bungei.
Uasin Gishu County experiences high and reliable rainfall which is evenly distributed throughout the year. The average rainfall ranges between 624.9mm to 1,560.4mm with the wettest months occurring between the months of April and May and the driest months occurring between January and February. It has a cool and temperate climate, with annual temperatures ranging between 70C and 290C.
Uasin Gishu has a total of 1,226Kms of road network comprising of over 300Kms of tarmac roads, 549Kms of gravel and 377Kms of earth roads. It also boasts 179Kms of railway line with 8 railway stations. In addition, there is an inland container depot, The Moi International Airport in Eldoret and two airstrips.
Education and Literacy
As at 2007, the County had 771 Primary schools with an enrolment of 184,954 pupils and a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:42.1. There were 158 Secondary schools with an enrolment of 14,712 students and a teacher to pupil ratio of 1:30.9.
The county has over 14 tertiary institutions with 2 public universities; Moi University and University of Eldoret, 2 private universities and constituent colleges of major universities. Others are Eldoret Polytechnic, Rift Valley Technical Training Institute and several private commercial colleges including Eldoret Aviation College among others.
It has a branch of the Central Bank of Kenya, 21 Commercial banks, 108 urban and 4 rural Saccos and 5 major micro financing institutions.
There are a total of 125 health facilities spread across the county. The county has 1 Referral hospital, 1 District Hospital, 2 Sub-District Hospitals, 88 Dispensaries, 23 Health Centres and 10 others. Notable Hospitals include Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Uasin Gishu District Hospital, Eldoret Hospital, Mediheal Hospital, Elgon View Hospital and Uasin Gishu Langas Hospital. Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, respiratory infections and water borne diseases.
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 affirmation of women and youth rights, the Woman Representative is to represent the County’s women and youth issues at the National Assembly.
GOVERNOR: JACKSON KIPLAGAT MANDAGO
DEPUTY GOVERNOR: DANIEL KIPLAGAT KIPROTICH
SENATOR: Prof. MARGARET JEPKOECH KAMAR
WOMEN REPRESENTATIVE: EUSILAH JEPKOSGEY NGENY
Uasin Gishu County has six (6) constituencies which are divided into 30 electoral wards. Soy Constituency has the highest number of wards with 7 wards, Turbo has 6, Moiben and Kapseret have 5 each, Kesses has 4 and Ainabkoi has the least with 3 wards.
Uasin Gishu’s main economic activities are large scale wheat and maize farming. It is endowed with good land resources making it one of the bread basket county in the country producing over 4.5M bags of maize and about 1M bags of wheat. Agriculture supports over 80% of the rural population of Uasin Gishu County in terms of household income and food security.
Another major economic activity is livestock farming which is a source of livelihood for over 160,000 households in the County. Animals bred include; dairy cattle including high grade, sheep, goats, exotic birds, birds and pigs. Others include horticulture and sports tourism. Under manufacturing and value addition, major players include Raiply Wood factory, Rupa Textiles, Kenya Pipeline Company, Kenya Cooperative Creameries as well as corn, wheat and pyrethrum factories.
Eldoret International Airport located some 16Kms South of Eldoret town along Eldoret – Kisumu road is an important economic hub for handling commercial cargo goods.