Nakuru city is the fourth largest city in Kenya, a capital to Nakuru County and a former capital of the rift valley province. Nakuru city is situated in Nakuru county of Kenya lieing at the altitude of 1850 meters above the sea level which explains its cold climatic conditions.
Nakuru city is a rift valley city experiencing temperate climatic conditions throughout the year, temperatures in nakuru usually drops during night and the cold season received in the period of June to August.
History of Nakuru city
Nakuru city is the 4th largest urban centre in Kenya with its history dating back to prehistoric period, the prehistoric period is based on because of the archeological discoveries found at Hyrax hill reserve which is in a distance of 8 kilometers from the central business district. During the colonial era when the British colonial masters were the administrators of Kenya, Nakuru city was establish as part of the white highlands. Nakuru gradually starting growing from being just part of the white highlands to a cosmopolitan city, in 1904 it received a township recognition and in 1952 it became a municipality. In brief Nakuru as a district grew from a town to a city and now a county.
Nakuru is historically important to Kenya as both the history of the country and the city are intertwined, Nakuru is important in the politics of Kenya it is where most of the prominent and vibrant leader of Kenya come from such as the late Kariuki Chotara, Kihika Kimani and the late Mirugi Kariuki and Koigi Wamwere. Nakuru was used as the semi-official residence for Kenya’s first and second presidents that is Jomo Kenyatta the first president of Kenya who ruled from 12 December 1963 to 22 august 1978 and Daniel arap Moi who ruled Kenya from 22 August 1978 – 30 December 2002.
Politically Nakuru has went through a series of events for example in 2006, Mirugi Kariuki the then Member of Parliament of Nakuru was lost his life together with other members of parliament in a plane crash on their way to a peace meeting in Marsabit. To fill in the vacancy of the late Member of Parliament, bi-elections where conducted and among the contestants was the son of the late Mirugi Kariuki by the names of William Mirugi Kariuki who won the elections. At the age of 27 honorable William Mirugi Kariuki became the first the youngest Member of Parliament to represent Nakuru town consistency, as it is said not all happy moments last long William Mirugi Kariuki was defeated in 2007 general elections by Lee Kinyanjui. The post- election period was filled with violence which greatly affected Nakuru, the violence resulted into many building being burnt down by the protesting group of people who were not supporting the victory of Lee Kinyanjui.
SECTORS OF NAKURU CITY
Nakuru city’s economy depends more on agriculture, tourism and manufacturing as the economy’s backbone. Agriculturally Nakuru is famed for its agricultural potential as it consists of many huge agricultural enterprises and small farms, the city is agriculturally feed by many crops grown around it such as coffee, wheat, barley, maize, beans and potatoes which are stored in massive silos found on the out skirts of the city. The responsibility of storing the crops is administered by two authorities that is National Cereals and Produce Board and Lesiolo Grain Handlers Limited.
The stored crops are used as raw materials to Nauru’s manufacturing industries such as flour milling industries and grain ginneries, most prominent manufacturing industries in Nairobi include milk processing plants, Menengai soap factory, Car&General Motorcycle plant, Eveready Battery plant, Fertiplant East Africa and many more. Nakuru prides itself for hosting most of Kenya’s largest retail supermarket chains such as Nakumatt, Naivas, Tuskys, and Gilanis supermarkets which were initially founded in Nakuru . The city is also hosts various retail business offering goods and services to both manufacturing and agricultural sectors, Nakuru has a large public market found in the western region of the town which services both traders and normal communities of people living in the city.
Because the economic strength of Nakuru , it was recognized as Africa’s first growing city and the forth in the world according to the study conducted by United Nations.
Nakuru is served by many types of transport used by people to reach various locations in the city and also to connect to other towns and districts of Kenya, transport modes include air transport, rail and road transport.
Air transport: Nakuru hosts Lanet airstrip which is soon to be upgraded to an international airport and Kabarak airstrip situated in a distance of 20 kilometers from the city center.
Road transport: nakuru town is crossed with many well maintained routes which facilitate the use of cars, motorcycles and matatu. The town consists of streets and high ways such as Dondori road C08 which links Nakuru city to central Kenya, Eldoret-Nairobi highway which passes through nakuru to Usain Gishu country and Nairobi.
Rail: Nakuru is served by the rift valley railways with a narrow gauge track which runs through the city, the city a has a rail station on the edge of central business district open for people connecting to cities like Nairobi and Mombasa in the east, Kisumu and Eldoret in the west.
Nakuru is a prominent tourism destination hosting many tourism interesting areas such as
- Lake Nakuru a rift valley soda lake which forms a part of Lake Nakuru national park, Lake Nakuru is a great attraction which is not only a lake but a habitant for millions of flamingoes which are sighted on its ends.
- Lake Nakuru national park: Lake Nakuru national park is one of the most remarkable tourism points of interest in nakuru , the park is named after Lake Nakuru which occupies a huge space of the park. Lake Nakuru national park is a home to many animals and bird species which are easily sighted in the park.
Nakuru city consists of volcanoes like Menengai crater a dormant volcano ranked as the second largest surviving volcanic crater in the world, the crater consists of small fumaroles and steam vets which are observed from above within the forested caldera.
- Other attractions in nakuru city include Lake Bogoria and lake Baringo, Hyrax hill prehistorical site which was discovered by the Leakey’s in 1926 and considered as a major Neolithic and Iron Age.
Nakuru city is caters more about the social life of its people, the city consists of many hotels and many entertainment centers such as the legacy hotel and suites, Gees in, Casa Tulia hotel and many more. Nakuru city has many clubs and sports stadiums such as
- Afraha stadium a multi- purpose stadium mostly used for football
- Rift valley sports club found in the center of the city, this center is used for a number of sporting activities
- Nakuru athletics club hosting annual rugby festivals referred to as the Great 10-a-side.
- Motorsports- lake nakuru has a moto racking track operated in the lake view estate.
- Nyayo gardens located along Kenyatta avenue
Nakuru city is an important education center in Kenya, the city hosts many institutions of education such as Egerton University, Kabarak University, Moi academy both primary and secondary, Kenya Industrial Training Institute (KITI), and branch of The Kenya Institute of Management (KIM). Nakuru city also hosts campuses of prominent universities such as University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology, Mount Kenya University, Laikipia University, Kenya Methodist University.
People of Nakuru city
Nakuru city hosts a population of over 307,990 people which come various ends of Kenya and the world, the population is primarily dominated by the Kikuyu and Kalenjin people with Kenyans of Indian origin. As per 2009 Kenya population census Nakuru is the fourth largest urban population in Kenya.