Kakamega municipality is one of the townships within Kakamega County. It lies in the central part of the County in Lurambi sub-county, about 30 km north of the Equator.

Kakamega was so named because the word “Kakamega” translates roughly to “pinch”, which was used to describe how European colonists would eat the staple food, Ugali. Kakamega was the scene of the Kakamega gold rush in the early 1930s, fuelled partly by the reports of the geologist Albert Ernest Kitson.

The European colonists were attracted by Kakamega’s fertile soil for agriculture and the rich cultural heritage.

Prominent Personalities

The ratification of the Kenya constitution 2010 bore 47 new County Governments with devolved functions and a National Government. Kakamega County is one of the 47 governments headed by Hon. Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, H.E the First Governor, County Government of Kakamega.The transition from former Local Government Authority to County Governments brought administrative changes. The current chairman of Kakamega Municipality is Hon. Daniel Khamasi and Mr. Benjamin Orwa is the Municipal Administrator

Overview of Kakamega Municipality

Kakamega Municipality covered an area of approximately 49Km2 with an estimated population of 91,768 according to 2009 Kenya Population and Housing Census.

New Kakamega Municipality

Kakamega Municipality will be expanding its boundaries to address the current accelerating urbanization. New Kakamega Municipality is set to cover an area of approximately 209Km2, surrounding its five neighbourhood centres: Khayega, Shisiru, Lubao, Murhanda and Ingotse


According to the 2009 Population and Housing Census, the population was 91,768 consisting of 69,502 and 22,266 in core-urban and peri-urban respectively. The population distribution consists of 50.2% males and 49.8% females. The Municipality population is projected to reach 353,989with a population of 261,473 in core-urban and 95,516 in rural urban by 2029.

Main commercial activities include selling of new and second hand clothes (mitumba), hardware, education, health, recreational and social welfare. Industrial activities include motor garages, pottery, jua kali, printing, milling confectionary, bakery, tea, machining.

Physiographic and Natural Conditions

The municipality receives both the long rains and the short rains. The long rains start in March and end in June with the peak in May. The short rains commence in July and end in September and peaks in August. The driest months are December, January and February. Generally rainfall varies from 1,000mm per annum in northern parts of the town to 2,400mm per annum in southern parts. Most rainfall received in the town comes in the form of heavy afternoon showers with occasional thunderstorms.

The town has high temperatures all year round with slight variations in mean maximum and minimum ranges of 28oC to 32oC and 11oC to 13oC respectively. Low temperatures are usually recorded at night while the very high temperatures are recorded during the day. The mean annual evaporation ranges from 1,600mm to 2,100mm with high humidity and low evaporation rates.

The well-drained soils and varying topography also provides a good potential for irrigation, though this potential has not been tapped. However, the flat and swampy soil leads to regular water logging and flooding.

One of the main rivers found in the municipality is River Isiukhu, which originates from the Nandi Hills, east of Kakamega municipality. It flows westwards through Kakamega Forest and the southern part of the municipality.

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