Kilifi County

Kilifi County is one of the six counties in Coast region. The county lies between latitude 20„and 4 0„South, and between longitude 39 05„and 400 14„East. It borders Kwale County to the south west, Taita Taveta County to the west, Tana River County to the north, Mombasa County to the south and Indian Ocean to the east. The county covers an area of 12,609.7Km2.

Kilifi County has four major topographical features. The county is divided into a five Agro- Ecological Zones (AEZ). They define areas that have similar characteristics such as annual mean temperatures, vegetation and humidity.

The annual temperature ranges between 21oC and 30oC in the coastal belt and between 30oC and 34oC in the hinterland. The county experiences relatively low wind speeds ranging between 4.8 km/hr and 12 Km/hr.

 

It is estimated that 11.3 percent of the households in the county are landless. Many of these people are squatters on private land. Many people in the rural parts of the county have no title deeds and they own the land communally. Absence of title deeds has discouraged long term investments on the land.

Fishing is an important economic activity that provides employment to the communities along the coastline and at the creeks with over 5,085 families depending on fishing for survival with an annual catch of about 443.689 tones. The major fish found in the county are sailfish, tilapia, cat fish, parrot fish, lobster prawns, rabbit fish, marlins, swordfish, sharks, yellow fin tuna, trevally, wahoo and kingfish. The sub-sector is not fully developed as fishers use traditional equipment (dhows/boats, line, nets, hooks) in shallow waters to fish. Lack of better fishing gears is the major factor in low production of fish in the county.

The forests within the county, falls within the Eastern African coastal forests which are heterogeneous group of isolated evergreen or semi-green forests with high biodiversity. The county has 14 gazette forests with a total size of 220Km2 and 7 non-gazette forests with a total size of 25Km2. The main forest include; Arabuko Sokoke, Mangrove and Dakacha woodlands.

The main forest products for gazette and Un-gazette forests from the county are timber, wood fuel, poles, medicinal herbs, and honey, charcoal, fodder and butterfly pupae.

The effects of environmental degradation are being experienced at county level as a result of over exploitation of forests and unsustainable utilization of non-renewable resources. Indiscriminate felling of trees in gazetted and non-gazetted forests has led to environmental degradation leading to drought in most parts of the county.

Tourism Sector which is a source of income to a good number of people in the county has been affected by the effects of climate change. A number of roads have been cut-off as results of floods in the county. Beach operators some times are unable to carry on with their activities due to erratic changes in weather patterns in the county.

The county is endowed with many tourism attraction sites which includes; white sandy beaches in Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi and Mtwapa. Historical sites in Gede, Malindi, Takaungu, Mnarani and Rabai that date back to the slave trade period. Other tourist sites include Kaya forests, Marafa Hell kitchen, Bore Valley, Mekatilili Wa Menza, Kapangani Rock and Sabaki Estuary in Magarini and mangrove swamps that attract both local and international tourists. The county provides good opportunities for sport fishing and marine research especially for rare breading grounds of special fish like Tewa.

The county also has the Arabuko Sokoke Forest reserve, Malindi Marine National Park, Watamu Marine National Reserve and Kuruwitu Marine area as major attractions. The Vipingo Ridge golf course and Malindi airport and Kijipwa airstrip are key components of tourism sub-sector.

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