|Situation Analysis of Kangema Constituency
Geographical Location, Administrative Units, Population and Size
Kangema Constituency is located in the Murang’a North District, Central Province of Kenya. It covers an area of 172.7 Sq. Km of which 148.5 sq. Km is agriculturally productive. The constituency has a population of 79,532 people based on the 1999 census and a density of 479 persons per sq km. There are 5 locations (Iyego, Muguru, Kanyenya-ini, Rwathia & Kiruri) and 20 sub locations with the Divisional headquarters in Kangema. It has one local authority namely Kangema Town Council.
Kangema Constituency has three main ecological zones, upper zone dominated by tea farming, transition zone dominated by extensive grazing while the lower zone is dominated by coffee farming. Milk production (zero grazing) is also a major economic activity across the zones. The constituency is ranked number 17 on the National poverty with 24,894 people being estimated as being below the poverty line.
Below 18 years-------------52%
Above 55 years------------10%
Topography and Climate
Kangema lies in the central highlands bordering Aberdare Mountain Ranges and has rich loam, alluvial, sand and clay soils. The land rises gradually from an altitude of 1500m to 2130m above sea level. The highest areas to the west have deeply dissected topography which has a high potential for agriculture especially tea farming. There are two rainfall seasons, that is, March-May (Long rains) and October – November (Short Rains). However due to the deeply dissected topography the area is prone to gully erosion and occasional landslides during heavy rains.
Tea and Coffee serve as the major cash crops in the area and are grown in the upper and lower zones of the constituency respectively. Other crops include maize, potatoes, beans, peas that are grown as food crops and cabbages, tomatoes and onions, which are grown as vegetables. According to the agricultural office in Kangema the area has a lot of potential in growing horticultural crops such as pears, plums, avocados, French beans, macadamias and apples.
In Kangema subsistence farming is widely practiced with surplus productions being sold in the local market. There are no processing industries in the constituency and as a result most produce is sold in its raw form at a throw away price in the local market or goes to waste. Lack of value addition to the crops has led to low prices and hence low incomes for the farmers.
Livestock farming is also another activity in the area with semi-zero grazing being practiced due to limited farm space. The animals kept are mostly; dairy goats, dairy cows, poultry, sheep, pigs and rabbits although bee keeping and fish farming are also practiced in some areas of the constituency.
Kangema is endowed with many natural resources among them being:
- Rivers, which include South Mathioya River, Boyo River, Gondo River, Kagondo River, Maragua River, Gikigie River, Tuthu River, Thambiri River and Mukungai River. Other rivers in the constituency are seasonal.
- The Aberdare Forest which borders the constituency to the west. Other forests include Karurumo, Tuthu,Wanjerere and Ichichi.
- Vast land for agriculture
- Clay soil found in pockets of Iyego location.
- Human resources include the growing number of young and educated people in the constituency.
Land ownership in Kangema is on Freehold system with the older generation possessing most of it. The land is sub-divided continuously to accommodate sons with the average acreage being 1 acre. The older generation of men own 98% of land while women own 2 % mostly as inheritance from their deceased husbands or from their fathers in cases of unmarried women.
Young people on the other hand do not own land and resources and are mostly dependent on their family land, which is not adequate to meet their needs. This has forced them to migrate in search of green pastures.
Impact of Land Ownership
- Since the actual owners of the land are old men, they will usually dictate how the land is to be used e.g. what is to be planted, what size of land is to be tilled etc.
- The farms in Kangema have been sub-divided over the years for many different generations making the inherited plots of land very small and uneconomical. This therefore has forced people to lease other pieces of land if they are to adequately carry out their farming activities.
Kangema Constituency has 43 primary schools (38 public and 5 private) with an enrollment of 18,939 pupils (9,497 boys and 9,442 girls) in 2007. The statistics reveal that there is an equal opportunity for boys and girls in primary education. In 2006 KCPE results there were only 7 pupils who had 400 marks and above.
There are 25 secondary schools with and enrollment of 4,852 students (2,800 boys and 2052 girls). From 2004 no student had managed a mean grade of A plain with only 6 students who managed a mean grade A- in 2006. Overall only 28 students managed B+ (plus) in the division, which is the minimum entry grade to public universities. It is also worth to note that there were 142 students who had grade D- (Minus) and E. The mean grade for 2006 was 4.6692, which put the division at position four out of four in the larger Murang’a district from 2004 to 2006. These trends show that the constituency has very few students going to the university.
The transition rate from primary to secondary school is also very low prompting the need to improve the quality of education in both primary and secondary school levels in the constituency.
These statistics show that a lot needs to be done to improve both primary and secondary education in the constituency.
The labour force in Kangema is aged between 15-64 years and is estimated to be 32,813 people accounting for 41% of the total population
The road network is still very underdeveloped in Kangema with about 16 kms of tarmac road and about 53 Kms of road being murram, gravel or earth. The tarmac is distributed between two locations namely Muguru and Kanyenya-ini. The tarmarc is on Kangema –nyeri road and Gatang’ara – Githiga roads. The tarmac on Kangema –Kanyenya-ini road is in poor condition and urgently requires maintenance. Kanyenya-ini – Kiruri road was once tarmacked but now it is completely worn out. This road requires rehabilitation.
Electricity and Lighting
The use of electricity is restricted to a few places due to the limited distribution network in the constituency. The ongoing government efforts in the rural electrification program have seen a number of people register and pay for the electricity installation however the KPLC implementation process has been slow.
Of importance is that majority of the population cannot yet afford the electricity installation costs.
Kangema Agricultural Office 2007
Murang’a District Development Plan 2002-2008
Minutes of divisional Leaders meeting 9th