Thanks to devolution, we now have several Western Kenya counties depending on how you look at them, either politically or geographically. These counties before devolution were districts on the former Western, Nyanza, and Rift Valley provinces.
Western Kenya Counties from a political perspective.
The former Western Province had 4 districts before the promulgation of the new 2010 constitution. If you look at it this way (politically) and the way most Kenyans perceive, these are the 4 western Kenya counties. There are Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, and Vihiga. Let us have a look at them below.
Kakamega is the largest county among the four, bordered by 6 counties namely Busia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Vihiga, and Trans Nzoia.
Kakamega has been made famous by the current Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who is the current Chair of the Council of Governors. People also know of Kakamega as a Sugar producing county, thanks to the famous Mumias and West Kenya Sugar Companies.
Kakamega is also known for bullfighting, a sport among the Isukha and Idakho communities within the county. The county is also home to Kakamega Rain Forest, the only remnant of the Congo Rain Forest in Kenya. It is said to be Kenya’s last remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest that once spanned the continent. The headquarters of the County is the town of Kakamega.
Busia is a border county and one of the entry points to Uganda. The county is sandwiched between Bungoma, Siaya, and Kakamega Counties on all sides except to with west where it borders Uganda. The origin of Boda Boda’s in Kenya is the border town of Busia.
The current governor is Sospeter Ojamong’ and the county government is headquartered in Busia town.
It is one of the Western Kenya counties that to the north sit Mt. Elgon. It is bordered by Busia, Bungoma, and Trans Nzoia counties. It also borders Uganda to the west.
The current Governor of the county is Wycliffe Wangamati who was elected in the 2017 election, preceded by Ken Lusaka after the 2013 Elections who is the current speaker of the Senate. Its headquarters is the town of Bungoma
This is the smallest county among the four but also among the smallest counties in the country. The county is administered from Mbale town.
The governor is Wilber Otichilo who succeeded Moses Akaranga during the 2017 elections.
Western Kenya Counties Geographically
Geographically speaking, the number of counties in western Kenya are more that those in the form western Province.
Here are below are details counties considered to be in western Kenya geographically.
|4||Nyamira||Nyamira||John Obiero Nyagarama|
|15||Trans Nzoia||Kitale||Patrick S. Khaemba|
|16||West Pokot||Kapenguria||Simon Kachapin|
Note that all these counties came into effect on March 4th 2013 after the promulgation of the 2010 constitution.
Did you know that Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, and Vihiga are members of the Lake Basin Economic Block? Other counties that will be part of the block are Nandi, Bomet, Trans Nzoia, and Kericho.
Western Kenya Counties are home to some of the nation’s diverse cultures and settlements spanning hundreds of years. These communities arrived here from the north and west hundreds of years ago.
Today they form the melting point of cultures that define Kenya as a nation.
Which part of Western Kenya have been to? Share with us in the comment section below.