Marsabit County News
Marsabit County borders Ethiopia to the North and North East, Wajir County to the East, Isiolo County to the South East, Samburu County to the South and South West and Lake Turkana to the West and North West in the former Eastern Province is vast, with an area spawning 70,961.3Km2.
Marsabit County is located 550 kms North of Nairobi. It is one of the richest in natural minerals with a unique topography and rare wild life niche. The largest of Kenya’s 47 counties, the County boasts of a huge landmass covering 70,961 square kilometers with a population of about 310,000 people and is endowed with scenic valleys rich in tourism sites. The name, “Marsabit” derived from how the white explorers explained the area as “Mars a bit” an old English word to mean “High and cool”.
As the largest county, Marsabit borders five counties; Wajir to the East,Turkana to the West and Isiolo to the South. It also borders the country of Ethiopia to the North with about 500 kilometer stretch. The county comprises four constituencies (Saku, North Horr, Laisamis and Moyale). Administratively it has seven districts.
People of Marsabit County
Marsabit County is home to 291,166 people (male – 52% and female – 48%), according to the 2009 National Census. The county is populated by 14 ethnic communities including the Cushitic Rendile, Gabbra and Borana as well as the Nilotic Samburu and Turkana. The county is also home to Elmolo, the smallest tribe in Kenya.
Major Towns in Marsabit County
The seat of the County Government – Marsabit town, is situated 270 kms north of Isiolo town, with most trading and urban centers within the county ranging from 60 kms to over 300 kms from Marsabit town. Marsabit town sits at an altitude of 1,500 m above sea level.
Marsabit town is situated on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa highway, hosting the county headquarters and bordering the Marsabit National Park.
Marsabit is also a popular trading point between Kenya and Ethiopia facilitating supply and movement of goods and services through Moyale town.
In order to attract skilled workers, potential entrepreneurs, and also tap into the immense benefits of the LAPSSET project, Marsabit town requires urgent attention in holistic planning which the county government is committed to providing.
Economic Activities in Marsabit
Livestock keeping is the backbone of Marsabit County’s economy. The economy of the county almost entirely revolves around livestock rearing. Almost each household keeps livestock and facets of the livestock industry impact on all other economic and social segments. Agriculture is also practiced. Main cash crops grown in the County include vegetables and fruits whereas food crops include maize, wheat, tea, green grams, cow-peas beans and millet. Other potential crops include mangoes, yellow passion, pineapples, pawpaw, citrus, avocado and bananas.
Other economic activities in the county include:
- Salt mining
- Gemstones mining
- Sand harvesting
Tourist Attractions in Marsabit County
There are numerous types of wildlife and birds and attractions such as. Lake Paradise (inside Marsabit National Park and Reserve) and Bongole Crater. The County has four National Parks, namely; Marsabit, Sibiloi, Central and Southern Islands on lake Turkana side of Marsabit. Others include volcanoes and crater lakes. Mount Marsabit Mountain peak and the singing wells.
Marsabit National Park
Category: Tourist Attractions in Marsabit County
The 1,554sq km Marsabit National Reserve is about 560 km north of Nairobi and 263km north of Isiolo in Marsabit County. It comprises densely forested mountain and three crater lakes that are the only permanent surface of water in the region and provide habitat for a variety of birdlife.
For more information visit: Marsabit National Park
Category: Tourist Attractions in Marsabit County
At Kenya’s far Northern frontier lies one of the natural wonders of the world Lake Turkana. Lake Turkana is a massive inland sea, the largest desert lake in the world (6,405 sq km). This single body of water is over 250 kilometres long- longer than the entire Kenyan coast.
For more information visit: Lake Turkana
Sibiloi National Park
Category: Tourist Attractions in Marsabit County
The 1,570sqkm Sibiloi National Park Kenya is on the north east
For more information visit: Sibiloi National Park
Accommodation and Hotels in Marsabit County
Marsabit Lodge situated within Marsabit National Park is a popular choice for many tourists. Other accommodation facilities include Ahmed and Abdul camp-sites near the national park, Al-Yusra Hotel and Hotel Abreham in Moyale.
Hospitals in Marsabit County
There are several hospitals and health centres in the County’s major urban centres. Health facilities in the county include the Marsabit District Hospital, Moyale District Hospital, Laisamis Health Center and AIC Gatab Hospital in Loiyangalani.
Financial Institutions in Marsabit County
Among the financial institutions in the region include Equity Bank and the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
Marsabit County’s Potential
Marsabit County is blessed with immense potential for growth. The potential strengths of Marsabit County are;
- Livestock rearing: The county economy almost entirely revolves around livestock rearing. Almost each household keeps livestock and facets of the livestock industry impact on all other economic and social segments.
- Land: Marsabit County covers an area of 70,961.9 sq km which offers abundant land for real estate development, ranches, industries, stadia, hotels, learning institutions e.t.c.
- Marsabit National Park: This national park is the home of Ahmed and Abdulahi the largest pair of elephants in Kenya, until their deaths in the early 1980’s. The park is also home to countless wildlife species ranging from tens of bird species, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, baboons, antelopes, spotted hyenas and many others. The park also hosts tens of craters teaming with hundreds of lives.
- Mount Marsabit Tropical Rainforest: A rare scenic feature, this rain forest is surrounded by semi desert and desert conditions. It houses two crater lakes; Lake Paradise and Lake Sokorte. It is the only source of drinking water for Marsabit town residents and the main source of replenishment for other aquifers in the lowlands.
- Natural resources: Lake Turkana (about 85% of this lake is within Marsabit County); South Lake National Reserve which also borders Sibiloi National Park. Sibiloi is the home of Koobi Fora which is the world renowned cradle of mankind; wind energy which can be tapped from the region stretching from Arbjahan to the east, all the way through Bubisa, North Horr and Loiyangalani to the west. Reports abound that the energy potential of the county can power the entire East African Community region if harnessed well; Solar energy which the county has a lot of potential on; International border where the county shares over 500 Kms of border with Ethiopia, a nation of 84 million people; mineral potential in minerals such as copper, beryl, nepheline, nickel, asbestos, graphite, tourmaline, garnet, iron ore, magnetite, rare earth, talc, chromite, gold and salt among others.
- Cultural diversity: Marsabit County is home to over 14 different communities. These culturally different communities largely co-exist peacefully and each has its comparative advantage. Cultural tourism has a huge potential in the county. To date two annual features underline the county calendar; Lake Turkana Cultural Festival held in Loiyangalani and Kalacha Cultural festival.
- Human resource capacity: The County has a modest but well trained human resource base.
- Sectoral planning: Livestock, Trade, Energy, Education, Health, human resource, Tourism, Water and Mineral mining sectors require urgent study and planning.
- Business planning: All the economic potentials of the county will count for nothing, if well studied and empirically supported business planning is not commissioned.
Sub Counties in Marsabit County
Marsabit county is made up of 4 sub-counties which in turn are sub-divided into 20 electoral wards as shown below:
- Kargi/South Horr
- Marsabit Central
- North Horr
- Moyale Township
Marsabit County Jobs
Marsabit County Jobs opportunities for all qualified personnel and those who would wish to work with Marsabit County government. Jobs in Marsabit County are posted on the county website.
Jobs in Marsabit County are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the
To access these Marsabit county jobs advertisement click the link: Marsabit County Jobs for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Marsabit County Tenders
Marsabit county tenders are awarded in a free, fair and transparency manner in the need to fight corruption in the country.
To access tenders in Marsabit county click the link: http://marsabit.go.ke/ for the latest job opportunities in the county.
Marsabit County Governor and Deputy Governor
The current governor of Marsabit County is Hon. Ukur Yatani Kanacho and the deputy governor is Hon. Omar Abdi Ali.
Constituencies in Marsabit County
Marsabit County Wards
Details about Marsabit County Wards will be updated soon…
Facts About Marsabit County
Marsabit County is located in Eastern Kenya bordering Ethiopia to the North and North East, Wajir County to the East, Isiolo County to the South East, Samburu County to the South and South West, and Lake Turkana to the West and North West.
Area (Km 2): 70, 961.3 Km 2
Climate/Weather: Temperatures range from a minimum of 10.1°C to a maximum of 30.2°C, with an annual average of 20.1°C. Rainfall ranges between 200 mm and 1,000 mm per annum.
Road Network: Bitumen Surface (0 Km), Gravel Surface (397 Km), Earth Surface (2,034 Km)
Key National Monument(s): Marsabit National Park, Mount Marsabit Tropical rain forest
Marsabit County Population
Population: 291,166 (Male –52%, Female – 48 %)
Population Density: 4 people per km2
National Percentage: 0.8 %
Annual Growth Rate: 2.8%
Age Distribution: 0-14 years (47 %), 15-64 years (49 %), 65+ years (4 %)
Number of Households: 56,941
Marsabit County Government
County Capital: Marsabit (proposed)
Number of Constituencies (2010): 4 (Moyale, North Horr, Saku, Laisamis)
Registered Voters: 87,102
National percentage: 0.69 %
Number of Districts (2010): 4 (Marsabit, Chalbi, Laisamis and Moyale)
Number of Local Authorities (2010): 2 (County councils of Marsabit and Moyale)
Economy of Marsabit County
Poverty Level: 92%
Age Dependency Ratio: 100:104
Resources: Wildlife, Lake Turkana, Forests, rangelands, Wind and Solar
Tourist Attractions: Marsabit National Park & Reserve, Sibiloi and South Island National Park, Lake Sokote, Lake Paradise
Financial Services: 2 commercial banks, 1 micro-finance institution
Main Economic Activities/industries: Livestock rearing, Small-scale fishing, Sand harvesting, Stone mining, Salt mining, Mining of gems and precious stones and small scale trading
Agricultural products: Beef, maize, beans, wheat, pulses and fruit, Miraa.
Education in Marsabit County
Number of Institutions (2007): Primary (126), Secondary (16)
Primary: Enrollment (40,332)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1: 54 (Public Schools)
Secondary: Enrollment (1,101)
Teacher to Pupil Ratio: 1:30 (Public Schools)
Adult Literacy Classes: Enrollment (5,227)
Health in Marsabit County
Health Facilities: 51 – District Hospitals (1), Sub-District Hospitals (-), Dispensaries (34), Health Centres (6), Medical Clinics (8), Nursing Homes (-), Maternity Homes (-), Others (2)
Doctor to Population Ratio: 1:10,000 (Moyale), 1:63,825 (Other)
Infant Mortality Rates: 47/1000 (Marsabit District)
Under Five Mortality Rates: 70/1000 (Marsabit) 50/1000 (Moyale District)
Prevalent Diseases: Malaria, Intestinal Worms, Diseases of the Respiratory Tract, Diarrhoea
Notable Hospitals: Marsabit District Hospital
Marsabit County Contacts
Telephone: +254 069 221 022 57
Fax: +254 069 202 102 136
Address: 384, 60500, MARSABIT
Marsabit County Website
Marsabit County Map
Marsabit County News
Marsabit County now the place to be
After years of marginalization with little economic growth, Marsabit County is fast rising as an economic hub in northern Kenya
New mega-infrastructures that are key to driving economic growth are coming up in the county, thanks to public investment in infrastructure and political stability in recent years. The increased infrastructural developments, which are part of the Vision 2030 blueprint, are giving the arid and semi-arid land a face-lift.
Marsabit is home to the Sh 70 billion Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Loiyangalani. A national government project, it comprises 365 wind turbines, each of which can generate 850 kW, and a high-voltage substation that will be connected to the national grid via a transmission line under construction by the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company.
“Once operational, the wind farm will provide 310 MW of reliable, low-cost energy to the country’s national grid (approximately 15 per cent of the country’s installed capacity). A recent spot-check by DN2 found that most of the wind turbines have been installed.
Marsabit Governor Ukur Yatani says the 40,000-acre wind farm project has opened up the county for more investments.
“Northern Kenya is now the place to be. It is a virgin area in terms of natural resources, which have helped us integrate into the main economy of the country,” Mr Yatani says.
He notes that the allocation of resources by previous governments was woefully skewed, adding that devolution has ensured equitable distribution of development funds.
The county also has huge potential for solar energy production, thanks to the abundant sunshine all year round.
Then there is the 526-kilometre Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale Road, whose construction has led to increased trade and investment since it is now much easier to move people and goods.
Mr Joseph Lemerketo, a trader in Sereolipi Township on the highway, says the road has reduced travelling time: “I can now travel from Marsabit to Isiolo and back on the same day, unlike in the past when the journey would take up to three days.”
And the landscape of Marsabit Town, a thriving commercial centre, is fast changing, with the new buildings and petrol stations an indication of the county’s ongoing transformation.
Ms Elizabeth Lemoyong, a businesswoman, is optimistic that the road will increase cross-border trade with Moyale and, thereby, increase trade between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Hundreds of kilometres away in the lakeside town of Loiyangalani, stone buildings are replacing the mud-and-straw structures that have characterised the area. Loiyangalani on the shores of Lake Turkana, which is slowly becoming a hospitality hub, is accessible after one conquers rough terrain.
But investors are pumping millions of shillings developing ultra-modern hotels and resorts in the area.
The latest entrant is the Palm Shade Resort, now a landmark in the heart of the town.
Decent accommodation is also available at the Oasis, Malabo, and El Molo lodges. The Oasis Lodge, for instance, is the only establishment with a swimming pool. It also has flat-screen TV sets, which are strategically positioned to attracting football lovers.
Mr Benedict Orbora, the owner of Palm Shade Resort, says the 40-bed facility employs nearly 20 workers.
“The creation of job opportunities is a big blessing to the local communities that mostly depend on menial jobs for their livelihoods,” he notes.
He adds that infrastructure such as roads, telephone lines, electricity, piped water, hospitals and schools that will connect them to the rest of Kenya are also needed.
He says the government should actively woo tourism industry players to invest more in the area, adding that Kenyans should be encouraged visit the county to cushion the sector during the low season.
The local airstrip and the upgrading of a long stretch of the Laisamis-Namarei-Illaut-Loiyangalani Road by wind-power firms have proved an economic boon.
But it’s not just tourist hotels that are reaping from the developments; transport companies in the area are doing booming business.
Chrispus Mwaniki, a driver with Tazama Wildlife Tours and Travel, says they are back in business, especially during the annual Marsabit-Lake Turkana Cultural Festival.
“The challenge is sustaining the flow. If the area were more accessible via a better road, then business would be even better,” he offers.`