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Kilifi County CIDP 2018-2022 background

This document contains the highlights of Kilifi County CIDP 2018-2022. Kilifi is among the 6 counties in the coastal region of Kenya. The county borders Kwale, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Mombasa County and Indian Ocean.

Kilifi County land area is estimated to be 12,370 square kilometers.

Administrative Units

Kilifi County is made up of 7 sub counties: Kaloleni, Kilifi South, Rabai, Magarini, Ganze, Kilifi North and Malindi. There are 35 wards in Kilifi County.


Kilifi County is dominated by the Mijikenda Community. However, there are other communities from across Kenya and even foreigners such as Italians residing in Kilifi County.

The County’s population was estimated to be 1.4 million people in 2018. Back in 2009, the population stood at 720,204 male and 775,443 female according to the Kenya Population and Housing Census of 2009.

Roads, Railway, ports

“Kilifi County has a road network of 101,000 km (out of which one (1) road is Class A Bitumen Trunk Road of 115.4Kms, one (1) Class A7 Bitumen National Road of 168.6 Kms, five (5) roads Class C Bitumen Primary Roads of 219.3 Kms, Class D gravel Secondary Roads and E earthen minor roads 3000Kms and the rest unclassified. The county has about 40km of rail network, which is part of the Mombasa-Kisumu railway stretch that passes through the county between Mazeras and Samburu. There is one station in Mariakani and another railway terminus in the neighboring Mombasa County is about 180km Malindi town,” reads the Kilifi CIDP 2018-2022.

Urban Centers

There are 10 main urban centers in Kilifi. These are: Malindi, Kilifi, Mtwapa, Majengo, Watamu, Marafa, Mazeras, Kaloleni, Marereni and Mariakani.

Malindi had the largest population at 113,641 people followed closely by Kilifi with a population of 59,767 people in 2018.

Land Ownership

Kilifi County CIDP estimates that 66% of all households did not have formal title deeds. These households cannot use land as security to acquire credit from banks.

Blue Economy

Kilifi County CIDP reports that the county has a huge potential for blue economy. It has a 265 kilometer coastline along the Indian Ocean. It has 200 nautical miles of ocean front.

It is estimated that 2,885 million tons of fish valued at Ksh. 554 million land on the shores of Kilifi County every year.

Kilifi County CIDP provides that there are 4,713 fishermen operating with the county shoreline according to data accessed from a survey which was conducted in 2016.

Tourists from all over the world engage in sport fishing at Watamu, Kilifi, Mtwapa and Malindi. This is a popular tourist activity in Kilifi County.

Kilifi County CIDP reports that there is a potential for serious deep sea fishing considering that it has an exploited Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which is dominated by foreign fishing trawlers from Japan and China.

Local fishermen do not have access to modern technologies which are essential for deep sea fishing. The local fishermen have over-exploited the resources along the shoreline.

Salt production

Most of the salt that we consume in Kenya is produced at the salt pans of Ngomeni. Most of the salt extractions is carried out by foreign companies in Magarini Sub-County.

Minerals, Oil and Gas

Kilifi County CIDP has provided data on mineral resource endowment. There are deposits of minerals such as lead, mercury, and silver, Manganese, Monazite and Zircon among others.

Titanium exists at Sokoke, Jaribuni and Timboni. It is estimated that there is 1.4 billion tonnes of titanium in Kilifi County alone.

Athi River Cement and Mombasa Cement companies have their operations in Kilifi County at Kaloleni and Takaungu respectively.

Water Resources

Kilifi County is endowed with large water resources with River Sabaki being the largest with a catchment area of 37,750 square kilometers according to Coast Water Board. There are other rivers such as Nzovuni, Rare and Kombeni.

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