About Laikipia County
The Greatest County with the Best Quality of Life
To enable every household in Laikipia County lead a prosperous life.
People-Centeredness, Equity, Accountability, Efficiency, Professionalism, Integrity, Innovativeness, Passion.
About Laikipia County
Laikipia County, located on the Equator, is among the 47 counties in Kenya.
Its name is derived from the maasai name Laikipia, which means treeless plain, where different kinds of wildlife, including the Big 5, roam freely on the rangelands of Laikipia.
The county is cosmopolitan with about 23 communities comprising of Maasai, Samburu, Rendile, Somali, Pokots, Kalenjins, Meru, Kikuyu and Turkana among others. The county is largely rural in settlement with the main economic activities being crop farming, livestock rearing, tourism, retail and wholesale trade.
The county is a member of the Mt. Kenya and Aberdares Counties Economic Bloc and Amaya Triangle Initiative.
It covers an area of 9,462KM2 and ranks as the 15th largest county in terms of the land size.
The county has 5 administrative sub counties, 3 constituencies namely Laikipia East, Laikipia West and Laikipia North with a total of 15 electoral wards.
Its population was projected to stand at 541,985 persons in 2018 and in 2020 to rise to 577,791.
Administrative Units and Political Units
Laikipia County comprises of five administrative sub counties (formerly districts) namely Laikipia East, Laikipia North, Laikipia West, Laikipia Central and Nyahururu.
The sub county headquarters are at Nanyuki, Doldol, Rumuruti, Lamuria and Nyahururu respectively.
The county has three constituencies namely; Laikipia East, Laikipia West and Laikipia North.
There are 15 electoral wards; 5 in Laikipia East (Ngobit, Tigithi, Thingithu, Nanyuki, Umande), 6 in Laikipia West (Olmoran, Rumuruti Township, Githiga, Marmanet, Igwamiti, Salama) and 4 in Laikipia North (Mukogodo East, Mukogodo West, Segera, Sosian) constituencies.
Here is a map of Laikipia:
It borders the following Counties:
- Samburu County to the North
- Isiolo County to the North East
- Meru County to the East
- Nyeri County to the South East
- Nyandarua County to the South
- Nakuru County to the South West and
- Baringo County to the West.
According to the 2009 KNBS Housing and Population Census, the total population for the county stood at 399,227 people of which 198,625 were males and 200,602 were females. In 2021, it is expected to rise to 577,791 +.
For under 1 year population, the numbers are projected to stand at 17,605 + in 2021. Under 5 years, the numbers are projected to increase to 84,719 + by 2021. For Primary School Age (6 13), the numbers are projected to increase to 127, 378 + by 2021.
For Secondary School Age (14 17), this population is projected to increase to 46,927 + and 53,326 + in 2021. For youth population (15 29), the population is projected to stand at 155, 065 + in 2021. For female reproductive age (15 49), the numbers are projected to be 148, 206 + in 2021. The Labour Force (15 -64) is projected at 331, 630 + in 2021. The Aged Population (65+) is projected to stand at 23,316 + in 2021.
For population density, Laikipia East and Laikipia West constituencies are the more densely populated of the three constituencies with population densities of 82 and 81 persons per KM2 in 2009 and projected to 104 + persons per KM2 in 2021. Laikipia North had a population density of 13 persons per KM2 in 2009 and is projected at 17 persons per Km2 in 2021.
Physiographic and Natural Conditions
According to the ADP 2019 2020, the altitude of Laikipia County varies between 1,500m above sea level at Ewaso Nyiro basin in the North to a maximum of 2, 611m above se level around Marmanet forest. The County consists mainly of a plateau bordered by the Great Rift Valley to the West, the Aberdares mountain ridge to the South and Mt. Kenya to the South East.
The main drainage feature is Ewaso Nyiro basin with its tributaries having their source in the slopes of the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. These tributaries include Nanyuki, Timau, Rongai, Burguret, Segera, Naromoru, Engare, Moyok, Ewaso Narok, Pesi and Ngobit rivers.
The Southwestern part of the county has the highest potential for forestry and mixed farming due to its favourable climatic conditions. The eastern and northerns parts of the county are suitable for grazing while the plateau lying in the central and the northern parts of the county is suitable for ranching.
The county is endowed with pastureland, rangeland, forests, wildlife, undulating landscapes and rivers among others. The high and medium potential land, which is suitable for crop farming, constitutes 20.5 per cent of the total countys land area. The remaining 79.5 per cent is low potential and suitable for livestock and wildlife. The major soils in the county are mainly loam, sand and clay.
The county has a gazetted forest area totalling to 580 Km2 comprising of both the indigenous and plantation forests. Laikipia County is richly endowed with wildlife widely distributed in most parts of the county extending to Aberdare, Samburu, Meru and Mt. Kenya wildlife corridors. Most of the wildlife is found in the large-scale private ranches, which occupy over 50 per cent of the total area of the county.
The county experiences a relief type of rainfall due to its altitude and location. The annual average rainfall between 400mm and 750mm. The areas nearest to the slopes of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges record higher annual rainfall totals. North Marmanet receives over 900mm of rainfall annually. The Laikipia plateau receives about 500mm of rain annually, while Mukogodo Forest receives an average rainfall of about 706mm annually. The northern parts of the county represented by Dol Dol receive lower rainfall compared to the southern parts.