Machakos County Profile
Machakos County is one of the three administrative counties within the Kamba Nation. The County is currently under the leadership of H.E. Governor Alfred Mutua, the county’s first governor. Dr. Mutua is a youthful, visionary, and energetic leader who has set the pace in County governance and scored relatively well compared to other 46 governors across the different counties within the Republic of Kenya.
Machakos County sits strategically, along the Mombasa-Kampala highway. The County shares its borders with eight other counties. To the west, Machakos County borders the County of Nairobi and Kiambu County. To the east, the County of Machakos borders Kitui County, while to the north; the county shares its borders with Embu County. To the south, Machakos County shares its borders with Makueni County; while southwest, the county borders Kajiado County. Lastly, to the North West, the County of Machakos shares its borders with Murang’a County and Kirinyaga County.
Machakos County has eight sub-counties namely: Machakos Town; Mavoko; Masinga; Yatta; Kangundo; Kathiani; Matungulu; and Mwala. Machakos Town is the administrative capital of the county.
Machakos County’s Top Economic Activities and Investment Opportunities
Machakos County has 4976 registered women groups, 2,044 youth groups, and 13,791 self-help groups across the county. Owing to the strategic positioning of Machakos County relative to the counties of Makueni and Kitui, the county has been the most attractive county in the region to investors. The county has put in place strategic investments, focusing on four areas, i.e.: health and wellbeing; education and skills development; employment and entrepreneurship; and youth empowerment. Interventions on those strategic focus areas will help towards the achievement of a healthier population while improving the economic status of the people of Machakos County.
Currently, the main economic activity in Machakos County is subsistence agriculture. The county has various open-air markets where buyers and sellers converge on major market days to trade their produce, which includes foodstuffs, and various livestock. Rain-fed dependent agriculture systems seem to have the potential to remain as the agricultural dominant systems in the County of Machakos. Unfortunately, the county experiences erratic and unpredictable rain usually less than 500 millimeters annually.
Due to the unsustainable rainfall experienced in the region, only corn and other drought-resistant crops like sorghum and millet are grown across the county. Further, the agricultural potential yield is limited by factors like soil infertility, pests, and diseases alongside post-harvesting wastage.
Machakos County has been selected to host the upcoming Konza Technology City. Konza Technology City has been billed Africa`s first techie City and will become the World’s third IT magnet after California based Silicon Valley This is based on the county’s close proximity to the Capital City of Kenya and the amazing landscape. Moreover, the county has massive chunks of land and has a good infrastructure.
Machakos County is also home to upcoming industrial and residential centers. Good examples include Athi River and Mlolongo towns, which, by far are the leading in terms of developments within Machakos County.
Tourism is another major economic activity in the County. The county has attracted investments by leading players within the hospitality industry, helping make the county the place to be for local and international tourists. Despite being a semi-arid county characterized by hilly terrain, Machakos County is blessed with beautiful scenery. The County offers an authentic cultural experience featuring various natural attractions and recreational centers. The beautiful hilly scenery makes the county a top destination for outdoor lovers.
Some tourist-related activities in the county include camping, hiking, sightseeing, and cultural tourism including dance and music festivals. Among the top attractive places to visit in Machakos include: Fourteen Falls; Ol-Donyo Sabuk National Park; Magnetic Hill Anti-Gravity Site; Masinga Dam; Iveti Forest Reserve; Komarock Shrine; Machakos Peoples Park; and Lukenya Hills
Apart from the above tourist attraction sites, Machakos County has identified various tourism and entertainment opportunities ideal for investors. Therefore, interested investors can collaborate with the County’s tourism sports and culture ministry regards the following potential projects:
- The development of resort cities
- Construction of high end and budget hotel
- Investment in Conference Facilities
- Setting up of Amusement Parks, Clubs, Casinos, theatres and specialty restaurants
- Film Development
Challenges in Machakos County
While the Machakos County Government is working hard towards ending poverty and hunger in all their forms and dimensions, this has not been without various challenges. Political, economic, and social problems continue to affect service delivery to local citizens in rural areas. The state of water delivery and sanitation is particularly problematic, with most of the existing water and sanitation facilities in the county being old, dilapidated, and in dire need of rehabilitation. The adequacy, equity and reliability of government rural water supply projects in the County have deteriorated due to: inadequate budgetary provision; facilities that have not been upgraded to cope with increasing demand; and a decline in technical performance with increasing age of equipment and inadequate maintenance.
Uncontrolled sand harvesting in the county has led to severe environmental degradation resulting in a change of the regime of some of the rivers and the loss of retention capacities of some seasonal rivers.
Progresses Made in Machakos County
Owing to the strategic positioning of Machakos County relative to the counties of Makueni and Kitui, the county has been more attractive to investors.
The county has put in place strategic investments, focusing on four areas i.e.: health and wellbeing; education and skills development; employment and entrepreneurship; and youth empowerment. Interventions on those strategic focus areas will help towards the achievement of a healthier population while improving the economic status of the people of Machakos County.
Further to that, there have been significant developments in the following areas:
- Infrastructure developments including the construction of new roads and upgrading of access roads within the county
- Partnering with the National Government on the “Last Mile” project to increase connectivity to the national grid across the county
- Setting up funding to support women’s projects through table banking
- 15 new irrigation schemes that spread across the six sub-counties have been proposed
- Implementation of the County Water Programme, reducing the average distance to 1 kilometer
- Construction of health care facilities across the sub-counties
- Collaboration with development partners including USAID, World Bank, World Vision, UN agencies among others