Summary and Quick Quiz

More information about the counties

  • County governments in Kenya are one of the two arms of government. The other arm is the National Government.
  • The largest county is Marsabit with an area of 66, 923.1 square kilometres.
  • The smallest county is Mombasa with an area of 212.5 square kilometres. 
  • Least populated county is Lamu with a population of 101, 539 according to 2009 census.
  • Most populated county and why?
  • Nairobi is the most populated according to 2009 census, the total number of people is 3, 138, 369.

What are some of the reasons that make Nairobi highly populated?

N/B Nairobi is the largest industrial centre. With a population of 3.36 million in 2011, it is the second-largest city by population in the African Great Lakes region after Dar Es Salaam.

- Nairobi is the main commercial centre in the country with many business and employment opportunities. This makes many people to prefer staying in the city for means of employment and livelihood.

Some of the responsibilities of County Government

  • Establishing and abolishing offices in its public service; 

- Appointing persons to hold or act in those offices. 

- Confirming appointments. 

- Exercising disciplinary control over and removing persons holding or acting in those offices. 

  • County health services, including, in particular –

- Pharmacies, 

- Ambulance services, 

- Promotion of primary health care, 

- Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public,

- Veterinary services (excluding regulation of the profession which is a national government function), 

- Cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria,

- Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal.

  • Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances, and outdoor advertising.
  • Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities, including:-

- Betting, casinos and other forms of gambling,

- Racing, liquor licensing, cinemas, video shows and hiring,

- Libraries,

- Museums,

- Sports and cultural activities and facilities,

- County parks, beaches and recreation facilities.

  • County transport, including street lighting, traffic and parking, public road transport, and ferries and harbours.
  • Animal control and welfare, including – licensing of dogs, and facilities for the accommodation, care, and burial of animals.
  • Trade development and regulation, including –

- Markets,

- Trade licences (excluding regulation of professions), fair trading practices, local tourism, and cooperative societies.

  • County planning and development, including – statistics, land survey and mapping, boundaries and fencing, housing, and electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation.
  • Education – only pre-primary education (ECD), village polytechnics, home craft centres and childcare facilities.
  • Implementation of policies concerning natural resources and environmental conservation, including soil and water conservation, and forestry.
  • County public works and services, for instance, storm water management systems in built-up areas, and water and sanitation services.
  • Firefighting services and disaster management.
  • Control of drugs and pornography.
  • Ensuring and coordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level and assisting communities and locations to develop the administrative capacity for the effective exercise of the functions and powers and participation in governance at the local level.

County Executive Committee

County Governor is the chief executive and the Deputy County Governor are and deputy chief executive of the county.

Each county is run by an executive committee, consisting of:

  • The governor, elected directly by the people.
  • A deputy, elected as running mate of the successful candidate for governorship.
  • A number of committee members not exceeding a third (or ten where a county assembly has more than 30 members) of the members.
  • A county secretary nominated by the governor and approved by the county assembly, who will double up as head of the county public service, and secretary to the county executive committee.

Kenyan law requires governors to have a recognised university degree.

County assemblies

Each county has an assembly whose members are elected from single member constituencies known as wards.

There may also be a number of nominated members as is necessary to ensure that neither male nor female members constitute more than two-thirds of the assembly

There is also six nominated members to represent marginalised groups (persons with disabilities, and the youth).

A speaker who is an ex officio member of the assembly.

Quick quiz 

1. Why do you think Lamu is the least populated? 

2. Which county leads in Tourism attraction?

3.  i) Identify counties with very harsh weather conditions. 

     ii) What are some of the identities of harsh weather?

4. How many counties border the Indian Ocean? Identify the counties.

5. How many counties border Lake Turkana? Identify them.

6. How many counties border Lake Victoria? Identify the counties.

7. Identify the county with the highest number of constituencies.