Garissa County is in the former North Eastern Province of Kenya. The County is most known for Garissa town which has been bestowed the title of the safest town in Eastern and Central Africa. Its capital town is Garissa. Garissa County has a total population of 623,060. A male population of 334,939 and a female population of 288,121 (census 2009)
Constituencies in Garissa County
1. Garissa Township,
Livestock production is a significant part of the county’s economy. Between 2005 and 2007, Garissa cattle producers earned over 1.8 billion shillings in sales in domestic and overseas markets. Construction on a new abattoir also began in October 2007. In terms of livestock imports, most of Garissa’s cattle come from cross-border trade between Somali livestock merchants.
Livestock is a crucial source of financial capital for the rural poor. The arid and semi-arid lands are home to nearly 70% of the national herd with an estimated value of Kenya shillings 70 billion. For many, it is the only form of savings available. Therefore, its efficient production and marketing is essential for sustaining pastoral livelihoods. The existing Garissa livestock market in Garissa town, Garissa County covers a total area of approximately 10 acres. It provides a range of employment and income-earning opportunities to the resident of not only Garissa County but the entire northern region.
Banks with a presence in Garissa include Gulf African Bank situated in Al-Wayf Quran House, the Postbank in the Garissa Shopping Centre, and First Community Bank (FCB) in the Bajwed Building. Other banks with branches in the city include Barclays Bank, Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank,National Bank of Kenya, Chase Bank and Cooperative Bank of Kenya.
The dry and arid landscape could be exploited to offer tourism packages that encompass camel-back expeditions and camping activities. The region could also be opened up to dessert rallying activities similar to those carried out in different regions in the world.
The tourism sector is also growing with a number of hotels and resorts coming up. This compliments attractions such as the bour-algy Giraffe Sanctuary and other wildlife that contribute to the county’s tourism industry. The county prides itself in having the only ‘long-necked Gerenuk’ East African.
Boni National Reserve
The Boni National Reserve is a national reserve for conservation and lies in the Garissa County, Kenya.. The general area lies between 40°83′E and 41°66′E and 1°76′S and 1°25′S and covers an area of 133 KM². The area’s climate is heavily influenced by the North-East and South-West monsoons blowing from the Indian Ocean. There are two wet seasons: April to June and October to December, and two dry seasons: The reserve covers an area of 1,339 km2 (517 sq mi) and is managed by Kenya Wildlife Service. It was gazetted in 1976 as a dry season sanctuary for elephants in the former Kenyan Ijara , and Lamu districts and Somalia.
It represent some of the most varied of ecosystems and provide a refuge for endangered mammals like the elephant, hirola and the wild dog, rare species found nowhere else in the world and hundreds of flora and fauna that are still yet to be described.
Common herbivores in the region include hippopotamus, bush pig, warthog, buffalo, common duiker, topi and waterbuck. Common carnivores in the reserve are the vulnerable African Wild Dog and the aardwolf. Although extremely rare, African elephants are also present in the reserve.
Bour – Algy Giraffe Sanctuary
The Garissa Sanctuary giraffe is hosted by Bour-Algy village, south of Garissa town and was set to host internally displaced giraffe that had been affected by the Kenya/Somali border skirmishes. The project is managed by the county government of Garissa.Its name stems from the large presence of giraffes attracted by the abundant acacia trees. The project focuses on the conservation and management of this species that once occupied throughout much of the horn of Africa, but is now, largely confined to Northern Kenya.
Arawale National Reserve
The Arawale National Reserve is a designated conservation area managed by the Garissa County in assistance with the Kenya Wildlife Service. It lies in North Eastern Province of Kenya, 77 km south of the town of Garissa. The reserve covers an area of 53,324 hectares (533 km2; 206 sq mi). To the west, it is bordered by the Tana River and, to the east, by the Garissa-Lamu road. In 1974, the reserve was gazetted as the only in-situ conservation site for the critically endangered Hirola population endemic to north-eastern Kenya and south-west Somalia.
The reserve is a critical refuge for a range of wildlife species including four globally threatened species: Hirola, Gravy Zebra, African Wild Dog and Cheetah. A study commissioned by Terra Nuova in 2006 also showed signs of presence of the African Elephant.
The reserve’s main asset is the hirola or Hunter’s hartebeest (‘Beatragus hunteri’), a slender ungulate with lyre-shaped horns which is called the ‘four-eyed antelope’ for its visible preorbital glands. It can only be found in this region and is critically endangered (only the previous step to extinct in the wild) according to the IUCN red list of threatened species. Only 245 specimens were detected during an air survey conducted in 2010, although the actual population may be somewhat larger. Some hirolas have been translocated to Tsavo East National Park in an effort to save the species.