Marsabit County


- Formerly Makueni District is a county in the former Eastern Province of Kenya. Its capital and largest town is Wote.

- The county has a population of 884,527 (2009 census) and an area of 8,008.9 km².


It consist of 4 constituencies

  1. Moyale Constituency
  2. Saku Constituency
  3. Laisamis Constituency
  4. North Horr Constituency

Physical features


  • Merille River


  • Lake Paraside
  • Lake Turkana


  • Dukana mountain
  • Kulal mountain
  • Mount Marsabit


  • Marsabit hills


  • Dida Galgallu


Importance of physical features 

  • Fishing in lake Turkana
  • Tourist attraction

Main types of natural vegetation

  • Vegetation of Koobi Fora Region

State the importance of vegetation

  • Tourist attraction

Map of the County

People and population

Language groups

- 40% of the people living in Marsabit County are Christians, 32% are muslims, while 28% adhere to other religions.

- The county is populated by various ethnic communities including the Cushitic Rendille, Gabbra and Borana as well as the Nilotic Samburu and Turukana.

- They keep camel, cattle, goat and sheep although the camel is the most essential to the economy.

- Among the ethnic groups, men are traditionally responsible for taking care of animals, while women take care of their children and performing day to day chores in the home.

Areas of high population density

Moyale is the highly populated in Marsabit county since it’s the largest town.

Areas of low population density

  • Sololo
  • Logologo
  • Kargi

 Social relations and cultural activities

The traditional way of life 


  • The people of Marsabit County feed on meat and a mixture of blood and milk from the animals they keep.


  • Both men and women dressed in brightly colored traditional shukas, which they wrapped loosely around their bodies. Men also dye their hair with red ochre, while women adorn themselves in beautiful multi-beaded necklaces and other traditional jewelry. Warriors kept their long hair in braids and dressed in more colorful attire than other members of the tribe.

Songs and dances

  • Songs and dance played an important role in traditional life especially during traditional ceremonies such as weddings and harvesting seasons. They used musical instruments such as drums, strings and wind instruments.

Traditional medical practices

  • Traditional medicine men and women gathered plants used for medical. Different plants were used to treat different illnesses.

Ceremonies and festivals held


  • Birth and naming

- Gubissa, the naming ceremony for the eldest son, is an important moment of the social life of the Borana people, an ethnic group living in northern Kenya.

- The celebration is held between sixth months and two years since the baby’s birth.

- Eight days before the ceremony, a large hut, the galma, is built and the child’s father invites the family’ numerous relatives to the naming ceremony.

- Each attendant to the event brings an oodha full of curdled milk as a gift, which is why the ceremony takes place after the heavy spring rains have greened up the pastures which provide abundant forage for cows.

  • Initiation

Among the Rendille, a person's role in society depends on their age-set and gender. The Rendille have a well-defined age-set system, and a number of rituals take place every seven to 14 years to initiate people into different age-sets.

For men, circumcision is one of the most important rituals because it initiates one into warriorhood. The men are in charge of herding the livestock and protecting them from predators and rustlers from other tribes.Rendille women are charged with household duties and taking care of the children. Age-sets among women are less defined since a woman is either married or unmarried.

Resources and economic activities


Main cash crops and food crops grown

Miraa is the main cash crop grown in Marsabit County because of the

Types of livestock kept

The keep camel, sheep, goat and cattle because they are an important economic asset, especially among pastoral and agro pastoral livelihood groups. They provide sources of livelihood through milk and meat.

NB: details of breeds are not required


Areas where fishing is practiced

Fishing is mostly carried out in Lake Turkana. The lake offers a fantastic opportunity for fishing Nile Perch, Tilapia and Tiger Fish, both from the shore and boat. 


Major forests

Chalbi desert

Wildlife and Tourism

Types wildlife 

Elephants, buffalo, leopard, lion, zebra and giraffe.

Game parks and reserves

Marsabit National park

Sibiloi National Park

Major tourist attractions

  • Major tourist attraction include;
  • Marsabit National park
  • Sibiloi National Park
  • Lake Paradise
  • Koobi for a museum


Major trading centres

Moyale and Marsabit are the major trading centers in this county.