Tanariver

Tana River County

Tana River County is one of the six Counties in the Coast region. It borders Kitui County to the West, Garissa County to the North East, Isiolo County to the North, Lamu County to the South East and Kilifi County to the South. The county lies between latitudes 000’53” and 200’41’’ South and longitudes 38025’43” and 40015’ East. The county has a total area of 38,862.2 Km2 with a projected population of 276,567(KNBS, 2014) and covers about 76 kms of the coastal strip.

The major physical features in Tana River County is an undulating plain that is interrupted in a few places by low hills at Bilibil (around Madogo) and Bura administrative sub-units which are also the highest points in the county. The land in Tana River generally slopes south eastwards with an altitude that ranges between 0m and 200m above sea level.

 

The most striking topographical feature is the river Tana that traverses the county from the Aberdares in the North to the Indian Ocean in the South covering a stretch of approximately 500km. Besides the river Tana, there are several seasonal rivers in the county popularly known as lagas, which flow in a west-east direction from Kitui and Makueni Counties draining into river Tana and eventually into the Indian Ocean. The river beds support livestock as well as wildlife during the dry season since they have high ability to retain water.

The county is divided into four agro- ecological zones.  The vegetation ranges from scrubland to thorny thickets within the riverine area. Shrubs and annual grasses dominate most parts of the region. However, there are enclaves of trees and perennial grasses dominating wetter parts.

The region has a hot and dry climate within ecological zones ranging from III (in the very high grounds) to VII (in the plains or lowlands). Average annual temperatures are about 300C with the highest being 410C around January-March and the lowest being 20.60C around June-July.

The county is dominated by complex ecosystem of high canopy coastal, riverine forests, wooded bush land and thickets as well as the grasslands and mangrove forests covering 355,688.65 ha.

The Zone is endowed with natural and man-made resources that support forestry based socioeconomic investments. The forests support ecotourism due to its rich potentials in diversity of fauna and flora, supports range hence livestock production as well as a habitat to rare and endangered wildlife.

Environmental degradation is caused by over exploitation of natural resources such as forests, mining, overstocking and overgrazing, population increase and cultivation along the river banks, urbanization and increase in food insecurity as a result of destroying water catchment areas.

Effects of climate change include droughts, flooding, rise in sea levels along the coastal parts, intrusion of salt waters upstream, reduced fish population in the sea, drying of the ox bow lakes, reduced crop productivity, loss of biodiversity, changing ecosystems and destruction of infrastructure.

The main tourist attractions in the county are Kora National Reserve, Arawale National Reserve and Tana Primate National Reserve. The main wildlife found in the county is Red Columbus Monkey, Tana River Crested

The Seven Folks Hydro Electric power Stations and Bura and Hola irrigation schemes are located upstream of the delta. Tana River supports industrial and other socioeconomic functions such as power generation upstream, agriculture, livestock, tourism and micro-enterprises found within the basin.

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