Counties of Kenya

The counties of Kenya (Swahili: Kaunti za 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]

Counties of Kenya
Kaunti za Kenya  (Swahili)
CategorySemi-devolved state
LocationRepublic of Kenya
Number47 counties
Populations143,920 (Lamu) – 4,397,073 (Nairobi)
Areas294.7 km2 (113.8 sq mi) (Mombasa) – 71,597.8 km2 (27,644.1 sq mi) (Turkana)


County governments were established in 47 counties (largely based on the 1992 districts of Kenya),[5] 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[6] and the 2019 census:[7]

(2009 Census)
(2019 Census)
1Mombasa (County)Coast212.5939,3701,208,333Mombasa (City)
4Tana RiverCoast35,375.8240,075315,943Hola
7GarissaNorth Eastern45,720.2623,060841,353Garissa
8WajirNorth Eastern55,840.6661,941781,263Wajir
9ManderaNorth Eastern25,797.71,025,756867,457Mandera
18NyandaruaCentral3,107.7596,268638,289Ol Kalou
20KirinyagaCentral1,205.4528,054610,411Kerugoya / Kutus
23TurkanaRift Valley71,597.8855,399926,976Lodwar
24West PokotRift Valley8,418.2512,690621,241Kapenguria
25SamburuRift Valley20,182.5223,947310,327Maralal
26Trans-NzoiaRift Valley2,469.9818,757990,341Kitale
27Uasin GishuRift Valley2,955.3894,1791,163,186Eldoret
28Elgeyo-MarakwetRift Valley3,049.7369,998454,480Iten
29NandiRift Valley2,884.5752,965885,711Kapsabet
30BaringoRift Valley11,075.3555,561666,763Kabarnet
31LaikipiaRift Valley8,696.1399,227518,560Rumuruti
32NakuruRift Valley7,509.51,603,3252,162,202Nakuru (City)[8][9]
33NarokRift Valley17,921.2850,9201,157,873Narok
34KajiadoRift Valley21,292.7687,3121,117,840Kajiado
35KerichoRift Valley2,454.5752,396901,777Kericho
36BometRift Valley1,997.9730,129875,689Bomet
43Homa BayNyanza3,154.7963,7941,131,950Homa Bay
47Nairobi (County)Nairobi (Province)694.93,138,3694,397,073Nairobi (City)

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).[10] The functions of governments assigned to counties by the fourth schedule of the Constitution of Kenya are:[11]


  • 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.
  • Food distribution and Free services for pregnant mothers

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
  • Ice skating
  • Sport fishing
  • Golf
  • Horse racing
  • Rugby

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
  • SGR- Madaraka Express (modern railway experience)

Trade development and regulation

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

County planning and development

  • Statistics
  • Land surveying, planning and mapping of resources
  • Boundaries and fencing
  • Housing
  • Electricity and gas reticulation and energy regulation

Education and childcare

  • Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, homecraft centres and childcare facilities
  • Adult education and national exam registration for the same.

Policy implementation

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

County public works and services

  • Stormwater 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.[12] The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission[13] 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.[14] 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[15]

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).[16]

County assemblies

The counties will each have an assembly[17] whose members are elected from single member constituencies known as wards.[18] 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.[19] There will also be six nominated members to represent marginalised groups (persons with disabilities, and the youth) and a county assembly speaker who will be an ex officio member of the assembly.[20]

County governors

Current list of governors

The governors listed below were elected on 8 August 2017.

County NoNameGovernorDeputy GovernorParty
1Mombasa (County)Ali Hassan JohoDr. William KingiODM
2KwaleSalim MvuryaFatuma Mohamed AchaniJP[21]
3KilifiAmason KingiKenneth Mwakombo KamtoODM
4Tana RiverDhadho Gadae GodhanaJire Siyat MohamedODM
5LamuFahim Yassin TwahaAbdulhakim Aboud Bwana JP
6Taita-TavetaGranton Graham SambojaMajala Mlagui Delina WDM-K
7GarissaAli KoraneDagame AbdiJP
8WajirAhmed Muktar AliTBD JP
9ManderaAli Ibrahim RobaMohamed Ahmed AraiJP
10MarsabitMohamud Mohamed AliSolomon Gubo RiweJP
11IsioloMohammed Abdi KutiDr. Ibrahim Abdi Issa IND
12MeruKiraitu MurungiTitus Ntuchiu JP
13TharakaOnesmus Muthomi Njuki Francis Nyamu KagwimaJP
14EmbuMartin WamboraDavid Kariuki Njeru JP[22]
15KituiCharity NgiluDr. Wathe NzauNARC
16MachakosDr. Alfred MutuaEng. Francis MalitiMaendeleo Chap Chap Party
17MakueniProf. Kivutha KibwanaAdelina Ndeto MwauWDM-K
18NyandaruaFrancis KimemiaCecilia Wanjiru Mbuthia JP
19NyeriMutahi KahigaCaroline Karugu JP
20KirinyagaAnne WaiguruPeter NdambiriJP
21Murang'aMwangi wa IriaAugustine J Gakure MonyoJP
22KiambuDr .James NyoroJoyce NgugiJP
23TurkanaJosphat NanokPeter Lotethiro EmuriaODM
24West PokotProf.John Krop Lonyangapuo[23]Dr. Nicholas AtudonyangKANU
25SamburuMoses KasaineJulius LeseetoJP
26Trans-NzoiaPatrick Simonyu KhaembaStanley Kiptoo Kenei TarusFORD-KENYA
27Uasin GishuJackson Kiplagat MandagoDaniel Kiplagat KiprotichJP
28Elgeyo-MarakwetAlex TolgosGabriel Lagat KosgeyJP
29NandiStephen Kipyego SangDr Yulita Jebotip Cheruiyot MiteiJP
30BaringoStanley KiptisJacob Kurui Chepkwony JP
31LaikipiaNdiritu MuriithiJohn MwanikiIND
32NakuruLee KinyanjuiErick KorirJP
33NarokSamuel ole TunaiAruasa Evalyn ChepkiruiJP
34KajiadoJoseph Ole LenkuMartin Moshisho JP
35KerichoProf.Paul Kiprono ChepkwonySusan Chepkoech KikwaiJP
36BometDr. Hillary Barchok David Shadrack Rotich JP
37KakamegaWycliffe OparanyaPhilip Museve KutimaODM
38VihigaWilber OtichiloDr. Patrick Lumumba Saisi ODM
39BungomaWycliffe Wafula WangamatiProf. Charles Ngome KibananiFORD-KENYA
40BusiaSospeter OjaamongSolomon Abwaku AkadakeODM
41SiayaCornel RasangaWilson Ouma OnyangoODM
42KisumuProf.Peter Anyang' Nyong'oMathews OwiliODM
43Homa BayDr. Cyprian AwitiHamiliton Onyango OrataODM
44MigoriZacharia ObadoNelson Mahanga MwitaODM
45KisiiJames OngwaeArthur Maangi GongeraODM
46NyamiraAmos Kimwomi NyariboTBDODM
47Nairobi (County)TBDTBD

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,
  5. "List and Format Used to Number Kenya's 47 Counties". Soko Directory. 11 July 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  6. 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.
  8. June 04 2021, Friday. "Senate approves Nakuru bid for city status". Business Daily. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  9. Gachuhi, Kennedy. "Nakuru town's long journey to city status". The Standard. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  10. "Role and Functions of County Governments in Kenya". AfroCave. 6 August 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  11. "2. County Governments". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012.
  12. "179. County executive committees". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012.
  13. "Role of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission". AfroCave. 9 March 2020. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  14. "180. Election of county governor and deputy county governor". Kenya Law Reform Commission. 29 August 2012.
  15. Appointment of county secretary, Section 44, County Government Act 2012
  16. "SHITANDA, WANJIRU OUT OVER DEGREES". The Standard. 18 January 2013. Archived from the original on 22 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  17. "Functions and Role of the County Assembly in Kenya". AfroCave. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  18. "Role of Members of the County Assembly in Kenya". AfroCave. 12 April 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  19. Article 177, (1) Membership of a County Assembly, The 2010 Constitution of Kenya.
  20. Article 177 (c), The 2010 Constitution of Kenya
  21. "Home". Jubilee Pamoja. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  22. "Public RTS". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  23. "John Krop Lonyangapuo". Mzalendo. Retrieved 14 August 2017.