NAKURU COUNTY REVIEW
Nakuru County is located in the Rift Valleynd borders Kiambu, Baringo, Kericho, Laikipia and Nyandararua counties. This is one of the most economic vibrant counties in the country and this has led to increase in the local and international investors who are now setting up businesses in the area.
According to the national census exercise that was carried out in 2009 the population of the county is approximated to be 1,603,325. 45.8% of the total population lives in the urban areas while the rest of the population is projected to be living in the rural areas. The high population is attributed to the good climate and weather patterns in the region.
There are six constituencies that are mapped in the county namely:
· Naivasha Constituency
· Kuresoi Constituency
· Molo Constituency
· Rongai Constituency
· Subukia Constityuency
· Nakuru Town Constituency
Some of the districts that have being mapped in the county include Nakuru, Naivasha, Molo and Nakuru North districts.
GEOGRAPGHY AND CLIMATE
There are several geographic features in the Nakuru County namely Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru. These features have an adverse effect on the climatic and weather patterns experienced in the county however climate change and global warming also affects the weather components in the region. The average altitude of the county is approximately 1850 metres above the sea level and this explains the temperature regimes experienced in the county.
The average temperatures range between 10 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees Celsius, the cold season is experienced in July and August while the hot season is experienced in January and March. The rains are received in two seasons whereby the long rains are experienced in April, May and August while the short rains are experienced between October and December. The average annual rainfall is approximated to be 850mm per year and this enables the farmers in Nakuru County to practise crop farming.
The predominant soil type is loam and contains all the plant nutrients required for plant growth. Due to the good soil cover in the region, soil erosion is not major problem here.
This is one of the most popular economic activities carried out in the area due to the favourable temperature and rainfall patterns received in most parts of the county. Some of the crops grown by farmers include maize, beans, millet, sorghum and vegetables which are consumed locally while the surplus is transported to the neighbouring towns for commercial purposes.
Cash crops grown include coffee, tea and wheat which is processed in the various factories located in along the farms. Some of the processed cash crops are consumed locally and the surplus is exported to other countries hence earning the country and farmers some income to meet their financial needs.
Beef and Dairy cattle are also kept by some of the farmers and this in turn helps in meet the high demand of animal products such as milk and meat. Some of the farmers also practise poultry rearing which has proved to be very lucrative due to the high prices fetched by the products in the market.
Some of the cereal produce is stored in the silos which are owned by the government. The main aim of this practise is to promote food security in the country especially during the dry seasons. National Cereals and Produce Board manages the silos for the government.
Agriculture is the backbone of the economy in Nakuru County. This is because most of the residents depend on the sales of the various farm produce to meet their financial needs. There are also numerous manufacturing industries that have being set up in the county that process the food produce for both local and international markets. This includes milk processing plants, wheat processing industries and flour making industries.
part of Nakuru Town
Tourism is also one of the major economic activities and this is enhanced by the many tourist attraction sites in the county. They include:
· Lake Nakuru
· Lake Naivasha
· Lake Nakuru National Park
· Hyrax Hill
· Menengai Crater
Entrepreneurs and real estate managers have set up several lodges and hotels that provide quality accommodation and caterings services to the tourists. The many hotels offer the tourist a chance to choose the best one that meets their needs and preferences.
Avenue suites hotel in Kenyatta avenue Nakuru town
Other economic activities include retail and wholesale shops, supermarkets and petrol stations. Various commercial banks have also set up their premises here and this enables the residents of the county to get easy and affordable access to health facilities
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
There are many health facilities in the Nakuru County that provides quality health services to the residents of the county. However the government needs to improve and maintain the condition in these hospitals so as to ensure that the quality of the services offered is maintained at a high level.
Various learning institutions have being established in the County and this helps to alienate poverty and illiteracy. Due to increase in population there is need to build more schools so as to meet education needs of the current and future generations.