IntroductionKandarais a town located in Murang’a County. As per the (KNBS, 2013),Kandara had a total population of 156,663 people in 2013 which consists of80,828 female and 75,835 male. The higher female population in relation to maleis attributed to high male emigration to other counties and towns in search ofemployment and business opportunities. Kandara constituency has the highestpopulation density of 664 persons per Km2 in Murang’a County. Administrative and Political UnitsAdministratively,Kandara occupies a total area of 235.
9 square kilometres. It has one subcounty,3 divisions and 9 locations. Kandara also has 6 Electoral wards.AliceWahome is the Member of Parliament for the Kandara Constituency.
Climatic ConditionsThewestern climatic region has an equatorial type of climate. The long rains fallin the months of March, April and May. The highest amount of rainfall isrecorded in the month of April, and reliability of rainfall during this monthis very high. The short rains are received during the months of October andNovember.
The western region is generally wet and humid due to the influence ofthe Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. Economic Status1. IndustriesKandaraConstituency does not have big manufacturing industries. However there areseveral agro processing factories. Kandara has one Tea processing plant, 34Coffee processing plants and 1 Milk processing plant. Mostof the industries are agro based industries with coffee being the leadingfollowed by tea factories.
Most of the factories produce semi- finishedproducts which are exported to other counties and internationally as rawmaterials and therefore do not fetch optimum prices. Thereforethere is need for the factories to refine and package the end products so thatthere is optimum returns and creation of more employment opportunities in thecounty. The constituency has potential for more industries like those mentionedabove, especially mangoes, bananas and milk processing factories. The otherpotential areas are in pottery, where clay soil is exported to other countiesinstead of making finished product of clay for export.2. Employment and Other Sources of Income Thesector however faces numerous challenges from increasing population andsub-division of land to uneconomical sizes. The potential of this sector toabsorb more labor force is expected to decline and it is therefore importantthat diversification of sources of income and value addition of agriculturalproduce through processing is promoted and encouraged.
a) WageEarners Wageearners in the county are mainly employed on casual basis either temporarily orseasonally with no job guarantee or security.b) SelfEmployedTheself-employed are categorized as rural self-employed. The self-employmentopportunities are expanding with the expansion of towns and market centers inthe county due to rural urban migration. c) LaborForceThebiggest challenge for this group is to create adequate and gainful employmentopportunities. d) UnemploymentLevelsThecounty should therefore strive to reduce the unemployment rate by adoptingpolicies and programs that are labor intensive Rural and Urban Settlements SettlementsMurangaCounty displays very dense rural settlements in which land subdivision intonarrow strips of land are very common. Since most of the county consists ofridges and valleys, land parcels are mostly subdivided in such a way that eachparcel has access to a road on one side and a river/stream on the oppositeside.
Kandarais one of the major shopping centers. The wholesalers mostly deal with consumerand hardware products while retail traders, who are in both rural and urbanareas, deal mainly with food products. The population of the town consistsmainly of a young population with more than 50% of the people being below theage of 30 years. (KNBS, 2013) Water and Sanitation in the countyMurang’aSouth Water and Sanitation Company (Muswasco)Kandarawater scheme1. ThikaRiver 2.
Kiriciunguriver 3. 10BoreholesKandaraConstituency currently has no sewerage system, some of its latrines arepartially treated and only nearly close to 50% of the people are served. ProjectsThereare various projects in the constituency and can be categorized as; ongoing andnew projects.a. OngoingProjectsTherehabilitation of the Old Kandara Ward/Sub County Agricultural Office toincrease the assistance towards the farmers and improve work environment in thecurrent office.Activitiesinvolved will be painting and partitioning of the offices.
Project:Completion of Kagumoini horticulture horticulture grading shedThegrading shed will promote banana farming in the region.Theactivities involved will be fencing. Project:Completion of constituency water pansTheconstituency water pans will promote water harvesting for food security in thearea.
Theactivities involved will be excavation and commissioning of community waterdams b. ProposedProjectsProject:Construction of New County Agricultural Offices (Kandara SCAO office)Thiswill improve the work environment and increase the number of farmers that willbe assisted. Project:New mega water pans /dams Thiswill increase the water harvested and improve on the current food security.