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Taita–Taveta County (previously known as Taita Taveta District) is a county of Kenya. It lies approximately 140 km northwest of Mombasa and 380 km southeast of Nairobi. The capital, nominally, is in Mwatate town but county government offices are in Wundanyi.
Salt Lick Lodge in the evening
Location in Kenya
|Formed||March 4th 2013|
|• Governor||Granton Samboja|
|• Total||17,083.9 km2 (6,596.1 sq mi)|
|• Density||20/km2 (52/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+3 (EAT)|
The population of the county was 340,671 persons according to the 2019 national census, with population densities ranging from 14 persons per km2 to more than 117 persons per km2. This is due to the varied rainfall and terrain with the lower zones receiving an average 440 mm of rain per annum and the highland areas receiving up to 1,900 mm of rain. The county ranges in altitude from 500 m above sea level to 2,228 m at Vuria Peak, which is the county's highest point.
The county covers an area of 17,083.9 km2, of which 62% or 11,100 km2, is within Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks. The remaining 5,876 km2 consists of small scale farms, ranches, sisal estates, water bodies (such as Lakes Chala and Jipe in Taveta and Mzima springs), and the hilltop forests.
The lowland areas of the county outside the national parks are farms, ranches, estates, and wildlife sanctuaries. The county has approximately 25 ranches. The main land use in the ranches is cattle grazing. The three operating sisal estates in the county are Teita Sisal Estate, Voi Sisal Estate and Taveta Sisal Estate. Many ranches have ventured into wildlife tourism and conservation. The Taita Hills and Saltlick Lodges sanctuary is among the well known tourism attractions in Taita Taveta.
There are 48 forests which have survived on hill tops in the county of which 28 are gazetted and are under government protection and management. They range in size from small 500 square metre patches with a few remnant trees to modestly vast 2 square kilometer indigenous and exotic forest mountains. These forests are part of the unique Eastern Arc range of forests found mostly in eastern Tanzania with the Taita Hills forming the only Kenyan portion of that forest type.
The Taita Hills forest hold a unique biodiversity with 13 taxa of plants and 9 taxa of animals found only in the Taita Hills and nowhere else in the world. In addition, 22 plant species found in the Taita Hills forests are typical of the Eastern Arc forests. Within these beautiful indigenous forests, bubbles clean water flowing to the lowland areas catering for both human economic activities and wildlife.
Human - Wildlife ConflictEdit
As the Tsavo National Park covers approximately two-thirds of the land area of Taita Taveta County, growth in human population causes conflict with wildlife.
The national population census carried out in 1969 put the number of persons in the then Taita Taveta district at 110,742. The Kenya Population and Housing Census of August 2019 found that the number of people in Taita Taveta county was 340,671 representing an increase of 207.6% in fifty years. The growth of the human population means that land close to the park boundaries is converted from bush land into settlements. Consequently, people have been killed by wildlife, as others lose crops and livestock.
The national government has a mechanism for financially compensating families for wildlife-related deaths and destruction of property, but residents of Taita Taveta say the process of claiming compensation is too tedious. A television news report broadcast in September 2018 revealed that only ten out of more than 1,500 claims for compensation in Taita Taveta County had been paid out in the previous five years.
|Kenya Administrative Divisions: 2019 Census:|
|Sub-counties of Taita Taveta|
The county has four constituencies:
- "2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume I: Population by County and Sub-County". Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
- Taita Hills and Kenya, 2004 : seminars, reports and journal of a field expedition to Kenya. Pellikka, Petri., Ylhäisi, Jussi., Clark, Barnaby., Helsingin yliopisto. Maantieteen laitos. Helsinki: University of Helsinki, Department of Geography. 2004. ISBN 9521020776. OCLC 76844200.CS1 maint: others (link)
- NTV Kenya, Victims of animal attacks in Taita Taveta say compensation takes too long, retrieved 1 February 2019
- Kenya: Administrative Division population statistics
- 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census Volume I: Population by County and Sub-County