NAROK COUNTY REVIEW
Narok County is located on south of rift valley and north of Tanzania, its borders six counties namely Nakuru, Bomet ,Nyamira, Kisii, Kajiado, and Migori (north, north west, east, west ) respectively. The county covers an area of 17,944km
Narok County has a population of 850,920 according to the census that was conducted in 2009, the totals percentage of women to men is equal being 50%,the percentage of those living in the urban area being 6.9% while the other resides in the rural area.
Narok County has three constituencies namely
· Narok north
· Narok south
Other district that have been mapped to be in the county includes: Narok south.Narok north and Trans Mara district
GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
Narok County has an elevation of 1827 meters altitude above the sea level. It has a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 28 degrees Celsius in temperature. The county receives two rainy seasons with an average of rainfall ranging from 500 to 1800 mm per year.
Soils here are sandy loam with high contents of the entire major plant nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. However in order to fully utilise the soils farmers have to implement certain soil management practises in order to improve soil fertility for agricultural purposes.
Floods are experience in some parts of the county which are low lying and generally flat. However this only happens during the heavy rainy seasons. Farmers have constructed dams in order to prevent soil erosion and conserve some of the run off for agricultural purposes.
Due to the high temperatures experienced in the county, most of the plant species are acacia and other scrubs that have developed certain physiological features that prevent excessive loss of water from the plant.
It is also important to note that these climatic figures are subject to variation in the near future due to climate change and global warming.
Narok County has rich soil that is suitable for agriculture. There is growing of wheat and barley which are grown in large plantation for local use and international by exporting it to neighbouring countries
Maize production in the county is grown in small scale for own consumption and for large scale farmers who use it for own use and selling the quantity yield to the surrounding towns
Livestock keeping is also practised in the county both in large scale and small scale. There are a number of ranges that keeps: goats, cows, and sheeps, some of the animals keeps are for beefs while others are for milk production.
Poetry keeping and bee keeping are the emerging agriculture activity that the government is encouraging the people to invent one as a source of income.
Just like in most of the other Counties in the country, Agriculture is main economic activity carried out in Narok County. Most of the residents are either livestock farmers all grow the various crops on large scale or small scale depending and this depends on the size of land available for a particular activity. Some of the crops grown are wheat, maize and barley which are processed and used to make food products such as flour and beer.
Part of Narok Town
Some of the farmers have also set up ranches where they keep large herds of cattle and goats. Kenya Meat Commission purchases these animals especially during the dry season and this in turn enables the farmers to meet their various financial needs.
There are also businesses that operate from urban areas such as Narok town. This includes wholesale and retail shops as well as supermarkets and shopping malls. These businesses ensure that the residents get access to all their basic needs without necessary travelling to other cities and towns such as Nairobi.
Residential buildings in Narok County
Real estate developers have also built residential homes and hotels that offer affordable accommodation to the residents and visitors who regularly come to the County. There are a number of tourist attraction sites in the county that attracts both local and international tourists. These sites include Maasai Mara Reserve and Mara River where tourists get to view the great migration of the wildebeests.
One of the latest tourist lodges in Narok County
HEALTH AND EDUCATION
Narok County residents have access to quality and affordable health services that are provided by the various health facilities located in parts of the county. However the government needs to build more facilities so as to ensure that even person living in the interior parts of the county get easy access to health services. VCT centres should also be constructed so as to educate the people on the various ways of protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases.
There are eight polytechnic colleges and one University college in Narok County and this has helped in alienating illiteracy in the area. Sixty one secondary schools and over five hundred private and public primary school ensures that all young people in the county get access to the basic education which is free.