The counties of Kenya are geographical units envisioned by the 2010 Constitution of Kenya as the units of devolved government.[1] The powers are provided in Articles 191 and 192, and in the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya and the County Governments Act of 2012. The counties are also single member constituencies for the election of members of parliament to the Senate of Kenya[2] and special women members of parliament to the National Assembly of Kenya.[3] As of 2013 general elections, there are 47 counties whose size and boundaries are based on the 47 legally recognised Districts of Kenya. Following the re-organisation of Kenya's national administration, counties were integrated into a new national administration with the national government posting county commissioners to represent it at the counties.[4]


County governments were established in 47 counties (largely based on the 1992 Districts of Kenya), after the scheduled general elections in March 2013. The counties' names are set out in the First Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya.

List of counties

Under the new constitution, Kenya is now divided into 47 counties for administrative purposes. They are grouped below according to the former province of which they were part, with their areas and populations as of the 2009 census:[5]

Code County Former Province Area (km2) Population
Census (2009)
1 Mombasa (County) Coast 212.5 939,370 Mombasa (City)
2 Kwale Coast 8,270.3 649,931 Kwale
3 Kilifi Coast 12,245.9 1,109,735 Kilifi
4 Tana River Coast 35,375.8 240,075 Hola
5 Lamu Coast 6,497.7 101,539 Lamu
6 Taita–Taveta Coast 17,083.9 284,657 Mwatate
7 Garissa North Eastern 45,720.2 623,060 Garissa
8 Wajir North Eastern 55,840.6 661,941 Wajir
9 Mandera North Eastern 25,797.7 1,025,756 Mandera
10 Marsabit Eastern 66,923.1 291,166 Marsabit
11 Isiolo Eastern 25,336.1 143,294 Isiolo
12 Meru Eastern 6,930.1 1,356,301 Meru
13 Tharaka-Nithi Eastern 2,409.5 365,330 Kathwana
14 Embu Eastern 2,555.9 516,212 Embu
15 Kitui Eastern 24,385.1 1,012,709 Kitui
16 Machakos Eastern 5,952.9 1,098,584 Machakos
17 Makueni Eastern 8,008.9 884,527 Wote
18 Nyandarua Central 3,107.7 596,268 Ol Kalou
19 Nyeri Central 2,361.0 693,558 Nyeri
20 Kirinyaga Central 1,205.4 528,054 Kerugoya / Kutus
21 Murang'a Central 2,325.8 942,581 Murang'a
22 Kiambu Central 2,449.2 1,623,282 Kiambu
23 Turkana Rift Valley 71,597.8 855,399 Lodwar
24 West Pokot Rift Valley 8,418.2 512,690 Kapenguria
25 Samburu Rift Valley 20,182.5 223,947 Maralal
26 Trans-Nzoia Rift Valley 2,469.9 818,757 Kitale
27 Uasin Gishu Rift Valley 2,955.3 894,179 Eldoret
28 Elgeyo-Marakwet Rift Valley 3,049.7 369,998 Iten
29 Nandi Rift Valley 2,884.5 752,965 Kapsabet
30 Baringo Rift Valley 11,075.3 555,561 Kabarnet
31 Laikipia Rift Valley 8,696.1 399,227 Nanyuki
32 Nakuru Rift Valley 7,509.5 1,603,325 Nakuru
33 Narok Rift Valley 17,921.2 850,920 Narok
34 Kajiado Rift Valley 21,292.7 687,312 Kajiado
35 Kericho Rift Valley 2,454.5 752,396 Kericho
36 Bomet Rift Valley 1,997.9 730,129 Bomet
37 Kakamega Western 3,033.8 1,660,651 Kakamega
38 Vihiga Western 531.3 554,622 Vihiga
39 Bungoma Western 2,206.9 1,375,063 Bungoma
40 Busia Western 1,628.4 743,946 Busia
41 Siaya Nyanza 2,496.1 842,304 Siaya
42 Kisumu Nyanza 2,009.5 968,909 Kisumu(City)
43 Homa Bay Nyanza 3,154.7 963,794 Homa Bay
44 Migori Nyanza 2,586.4 917,170 Migori
45 Kisii Nyanza 1,317.9 1,152,282 Kisii
46 Nyamira Nyanza 912.5 598,252 Nyamira
47 Nairobi (County) Nairobi (Province) 694.9 3,138,369 Nairobi (City)
581,309.0 38,610,097 Nairobi

County Governments

County governments are responsible for county legislation (outlined in article 185 of the Constitution of Kenya), executive functions (outlined in article 183), functions outlined in the fourth schedule of the constitution of Kenya, functions transferred from the national government through article 187 of the constitution of Kenya, functions agreed upon with other counties under article 189(2) of the constitution of Kenya, and establishment and staffing of a public service (under article 235 of the Constitution of Kenya).[6] The functions of governments assigned to counties by the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya are:[7]


  • Crop and animal husbandry
  • Livestock sale yards
  • County abattoirs (slaughterhouses)
  • Plant and animal disease control
  • Fisheries

County health services

  • County health facilities and 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)
  • Cemeteries, funeral parlors and crematoria
  • Refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal

Pollution, Nuisances and Advertising Control

  • Control of air pollution, noise pollution, other public nuisances and outdoor advertising

Cultural activities, public entertainment and public amenities

  • 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

  • County roads
  • Street lighting
  • Traffic and parking
  • Public road transport
  • Ferries and harbours, excluding the regulation of international and national shipping and matters related thereto

Animal control and welfare

  • Licensing of dogs
  • Facilities for the accommodation, care and burial of animals
  • Killing of stray pets

Trade development and regulation

  • Markets
  • Trade licences, excluding regulation of professions
  • Fair trading practices
  • Local tourism
  • Cooperative societies
  • ffgg

County planning and development

  • Statistics
  • Land survey, planning and mapping
  • Boundaries and fencing
  • Housing
  • Electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation

Education and Childcare

  • Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, homecraft centres and childcare facilities

Policy Implementation

  • Implementation of specific national government policies on natural resources and environmental conservation
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Forestry

County public works and services

  • Storm water management systems in built-up areas
  • Water and sanitation services

Fire fighting services and disaster management

Counties are mandated by the 2010 constitution of Kenya to enact legislation and laws that ensures management and controls of fire fighting.

Control of drugs and pornography


  • Ensuring and co-ordinating the participation of communities and locations in governance at the local level
  • 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

The county governor and the deputy county governor are the chief executive and deputy chief executive of the county, respectively.[8] The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall not conduct a separate election for the deputy governor but shall declare the running mate of the person who is elected county governor to have been elected as the deputy governor.[9] Each county will be run by an executive committee, consisting of:

  • A 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 of the respective county assembly
  • 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[10]

As a speciality in the democratic system Kenyan law requires governors to have a recognised university degree (it is not necessary for the President of the United States, for example, to hold a degree).[11]

County Assemblies

The counties will each have 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.[12] There will also be six nominated members to represent marginalised groups (persons with disabilities, and the youth) and a speaker who will be an ex officio member of the assembly.[13][14]

County Governors


Embu County governor Martin Nyagah Wambora was the first governor to be impeached following allegations of impropriety.[15][16][17]

Current List of Governors

The governors listed below were elected on 8 August 2017.

County No Name Governor Deputy Governor Party
1 Mombasa (County) Hassan Joho Hazel Ezabel Nyamoki Ogunde ODM
2 Kwale Salim Mvurya Fatuma Mohamed Achani JP[18]
3 Kilifi Amason Kingi Kenneth Mwakombo Kamto ODM
4 Tana River Dhadho Gadae Godhana Jire Siyat Mohamed ODM
5 Lamu Fahim Yassin Twaha JP
6 Taita-Taveta Granton Graham Samboja WDM-K
7 Garissa Bunow Ali Korane Dagame Abdi JP
8 Wajir Mohamed Abdi Mahamud JP
9 Mandera Ali Ibrahim Roba Mohamed Ahmed Arai JP
10 Marsabit Mohamud Mohamed Ali JP
11 Isiolo Mohammed Abdi Kuti IND
12 Meru Kiraitu Murungi JP
13 Tharaka Onesmus Muthomi Njuki JP
14 Embu Martin Wambora Dorothy Nditi Muchungu[19] JP[20]
15 Kitui Charity Ngilu Dr. Wathe Nzau NARC
16 Machakos Alfred Mutua Francis Maliti Maendeleo Chap Chap Party
17 Makueni Kivutha Kibwana Adelina Ndeto Mwau WDM-K
18 Nyandarua Francis Kimemia JP
19 Nyeri Mutahi Kahiga JP
20 Kirinyaga Anne Waiguru JP
21 Murang'a Mwangi wa Iria Augustine J Gakure Monyo JP
22 Kiambu Ferdinand Waititu Dr. Nyoro JP
23 Turkana Josphat Nanok Peter Ekai Lokoel ODM
24 West Pokot John Krop Lonyangapuo[21] Dr. Nicholas Atudonyang KANU
25 Samburu Moses Kasaine Joseph Lemarkat JP
26 Trans-Nzoia Patrick Simonyu Khaemba Stanley Kiptoo Kenei Tarus FORD-KENYA
27 Uasin Gishu Jackson Kiplagat Mandago Daniel Kiplagat Kiprotich JP
28 Elgeyo-Marakwet Alex Tolgos Gabriel Lagat Kosgey JP
29 Nandi Stephen Kipyego Sang Dr Yulita Jebotip Cheruiyot Mitei JP
30 Baringo Stanley Kiptis JP
31 Laikipia Ndiritu Muriithi James Mathenge IND
32 Nakuru Lee Kinyanjui Erick Korir JP
33 Narok Samuel ole Tunai Aruasa Evalyn Chepkirui JP
34 Kajiado Joseph Ole Lenku JP
35 Kericho Paul Kiprono Chepkwony Susan Chepkoech Kikwai JP
36 Bomet Joyce Laboso Obonyo Hillary Barchok JP
37 Kakamega Wycliffe Oparanya Philip Museve Kutima ODM
38 Vihiga Wilber Otichilo ODM
39 Bungoma Wycliffe Wafula Wangamati FORD-KENYA
40 Busia Sospeter Ojaamong Solomon Abwaku Akadake ODM
41 Siaya Cornel Rasanga Wilson Ouma Onyango ODM
42 Kisumu Peter Anyang' Nyong'o Mathews Owili ODM
43 Homa Bay Cyprian Awiti Hamiliton Onyango Orata ODM
44 Migori Zacharia Obado Nelson Mahanga Mwita ODM
45 Kisii James Ongwae Arthur Maangi Gongera ODM
46 Nyamira John Obiero Amos Kimwomi Nyaribo ODM
47 Nairobi (County) Mbuvi Gideon Kioko "Mike Sonko" JP

See also


  1. ^ Article 6, Devolution and access to Services, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  2. ^ Article 98, (1) (a), Membership of the Senate, the 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  3. ^ Article 97, (1) (b) Membership of the National Assembly, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  4. ^ Kenyan County Commissioners Re-Organised Under New Structure, http://allafrica.com/stories/201307230067.html
  5. ^ Kenya National Bureau of Statistics; and the final report of the IEBC as ratified in the National Assembly Constituencies and County Assembly Wards Order, 2012.
  6. ^ County Governments Act, 2012
  7. ^ "2. County Governments". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "179. County executive committees". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "180. Election of county governor and deputy county governor". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Appointment of county secretary, Section 44, County Government Act 2012
  11. ^ "SHITANDA, WANJIRU OUT OVER DEGREES". The Standard. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Article 177, (1) Membership of a County Assembly, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya.
  13. ^ Article 177 (c), The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ "Embu governor Martin Wambora found guilty of 3 out of 5 allegations". Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "County assembly members impeach Embu governor". Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Nditi to be acting Embu Governor, court rules". Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Home". Jubilee Pamoja. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  19. ^ "Embu new governor assures she is equal to the task". Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Public RTS". public.rts.iebc.or.ke. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  21. ^ "John Krop Lonyangapuo". Mzalendo. Retrieved 14 August 2017. 

External links