Geography, Land-Use, Highlights, Population, Roads, Airports, Climate & National Monuments in Nyandarua County
Geography of Nyandarua County
The western limit of Nyandarua County is more or less marked by the Nyairoko River, a tributary of the Malewa River, which courses into Nakuru County and that marks its northern frontier. To the east, the Aberdare Ranges traverse its boundary with Nyeri County. The northern frontier is marked by the Wanjohi-Magomano-Ol Kalou-Gilgil Road. The perimeter boundary of Aberdare Ranges is 565 kms. Altitude varies from 2,000 ms on eastern forest boundary to 4,001 ms at the peak of Ol Donyo Lesatima – situated towards its north-eastern limit.
Land Use in Nyandarua County
Land use in Nyandarua County can be roughly categorized into national parks, forestry, roads, townships, farms, watercourses and water bodies. Much of the land in Nyandarua County has been subdivided, allocated and settled. Most of the land held by farmers is in small scale with few large farms that are spread throughout the county. The mean holding size per household is 3.5 ha. With the increasing population and emergence of urban centres, the mean holding sizes are expected to reduce as sub-division and sale of land continues. Nyandarua County is primarily an agricultural area: Producing potatoes, wheat, and maize.
Highlights in Nyandarua County
Aberdare Forest Reserve, which is located on the Aberdare Mountains, together with the Kikuyu Escarpment which runs 120 kms northwards from Nairobi and about 40 kms at its widest point, are the eminent features in Nyandarua. Other notable physical features of Nyandarua County include the Kinangop Plateau and Ol Kalou or Ol Joro Orok Plateau which have slopes that are interrupted by low undulating hills, the Great Rift Valley in the west, and Aberdare Ranges in the east. The gentle slopes flatten to plain-like features of marshes and swamps.
Population in Nyandarua County
In 2009, the population in Nyandarua County was 596,268. This comprised of 292,155 males and 304,113 females. In 2013 projected population was 656,348, expected to grow to 688,618 and 722,498 persons in 2015 and 2017. About 43% of the population is below 15 years, with close to 69% being below 30 years. Nyandarua County has four urban centres – Mairo-inya, Engineer, Njabini and Ol Kalou. In 2013, the total urban population was 26,655. Population density was 52 persons / km2 in 1969 and increased to 69 persons / km2 in 1979, then to 102 and 145 persons / km2 in 1989 and 1999 respectively. The 2013 density was 202 persons / km2. Ol Joro Orok area has a density of 240 persons / km2.
Airports in Nyandarua County
Nyandarua County has only one air strip, in Nyandarua West, which is in good condition and is operational, but is hardly-ever used. Its runway is all-weather.
Roads in Nyandarua County
Nyandarua has a total of 3,400 kms of road, of which, 224 kms is bitumen, 525 kms is gravel surface and 2,651 kms is earth surface. The earth and gravel roads are usually impassable over the rainy season. Bitumen roads are in a good state.
Climate in Nyandarua County
All of Nyandarua County experiences moderate-low temperatures. The highest temperatures are recorded in the month of December that bears an average temperature of 25o Celsius, while the lowest is recorded in the month of July, with a mean average temperature of 12 C. Rainfall in the County peaks between April and May. Kinangop and Ol Kalou Plateaus are located in the rain-shadow of the Aberdare and receive relatively lesser rainfall compared to its other areas.
National Monuments in Nyandarua County
There are no designated national monuments in Nyandarua County.