Is the most developed urban center and administrative capital of Embu County.
Primarily a civil servants’ city, the towns’ population has drastically risen over the last 10 years attracting a real estate boom.
Located towards the border of Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties, Runyenjes town is an important trading center between the two counties. It lies some 30 kilometers from Embu town, and is a significant marketplace for small-scale farmers drawn from the surrounding townships.
Set just below Kiang’ombe hills some 25 kilometers south of Embu town, Siakago is a key trading center for agricultural and livestock products, mostly serving Mbeere people.
Located some 30 kilometers south of Embu town along Matuu-Mwingi road, Kiritiri has been growing rapidly, owing to its proximity to the famous 7 forks hydroelectric power dams. The regions surrounding the town are also popular with livestock, especially goat keeping, making the town a significant marketplace.
Climate and Weather
Because of it’s location at the foothill of Mount Kenya, the county’s temperatures are estimated at an average of between 9°C – 28°C. The county receives substantial rainfall with average annual precipitation of 1206mm. The wettest season is experienced between March and July while the hottest comes between January and mid-March. Much of the land is largely arable and is well watered by a number of rivers and streams.
Agriculture is the main driver of the economy in Embu County with over 70% of the residents being small scale farmers. Small percentages are business people and civil servants working in government institutions.
Tea, coffee and cotton have been the main cash crops. However, due to their falling prices, many farmers have in the recent years started growing other crops. Mango farming has become a robust economic activity, finding market as far as Nairobi.
Owing to county’s vibrant real estate, sand harvesting has lately become a lucrative business. One of the key up-and-coming economic incentives is the upgrading of Embu airstrip to airport status, which is expected to link up the county’s agribusiness to external market.
Among the most prominent health facilities include Embu Provincial General Hospital (Embu town), Runyenjes District Hospital, (Runyenjes town) Siakago District Hospital (Siakago), Consolata Hospital, Kyeni (near Runyenjes), Liberty nursing Home (Embu town), Ishiara sub-District Hospital, Kibugu Health Center and Joy Kim Nursing Home in the outskirts of Embu town that all serve the needs of the residents.
Embu County is renowned for its numerous learning institutions. As of 2013, there are 450 primary schools serving 125,420 students and 145 secondary schools serving about 27,000 students. The ratio of pupil to teacher in public schools stands at 1:35 while that of student to teacher in public secondary schools is 1:25.
Some top schools include Kangaru girls’ and Kangaru boys’ high schools, Kyeni girls’ secondary near Runyenjes, St. Mary Kiangima girls boarding school, Kiambeere school complex, Nguviu boys, Nguviu girls secondary schools among others.
Insitutions of higher learning include Embu College, Government Training Institute (GTI), University of Nairobi, Embu University College formerly E.A.S.T College and Kenyatta University campuses all located within Embu town.