Physiographic & Natural Conditions


Physical and Topographic features

The highest altitude of the county is 5,200m in Chuka/Igambang’ombe and Maara while the lowest is 600m Eastwards in Tharaka.

The main physical feature of the county is the 360 Km2of Mt. Kenya forest distributed between Maara and Chuka/Igambang’ombe constituencies.

The forest serves as a tourist attraction, catchment area for Tana River, a source of fuel wood, fodder and honey for the communities living around it.

Major hills found in the county landscape include Kiera, Munuguni and Njuguni in Maara constituency and Kijege and Ntugi in Tharaka constituency. The hilly terrain of the County leads to soil erosion hence environment degradation.

The terrain also makes construction and maintenance of road networks costly.

The topography of Chuka/Igambang’ombe and Maara constituencies is greatly influenced by the Mt. Kenya volcanic activity creating ‘V’ shaped valleys within which the main tributaries of River Tana flow originating from Mt. Kenya forest.

The tributaries flowing eastwards are: Thuci, Mara, Nithi, Mutonga, Naka, and Ruguti. Tharaka on the other hand is traversedby several rivers, which originate from both the Mt. Kenya and Nyambene Hills, flowing eastwards as tributaries of Tana River.  These include Mutonga, Thingithu, Kathita, Thanantu, Thangatha, Kithinu and Ura rivers which provide water for irrigation in the moderately densely populated locations in parts of Tharaka. The region comprises of low, hilly, stony and sandy marginal lowlands with moderate forest cover.

Ecological Conditions

The County has two main ecological zones. The highlands (upper zone) comprise of Maara and Chuka which receive adequate rainfall for agriculture.

The semi-arid (lower zone) covers Tharaka and receives less rainfall suitable for livestock production. Poor methods of farming and soil conservation, charcoal burning and overgrazing have left the earth bare and rocky.

The sloping areas have experienced uncontrolled soil erosion, which has resulted in deep gullies across the landscape especially in Tharaka.  The drainage pattern consists of rivers and streams that ultimately drain into the Indian Ocean through Tana River.

Climatic Conditions

Temperatures in the highland areas range between 140C to 300C while those of the lowland area range between 220C to 360C.

Tharaka constituency, which lies in the lower side, experiences temperatures of up to 40oC at certain periods.

The county has a bi-modal rainfall pattern with the long rains falling during the months of April to June and the short rains in October to December.

The rainfall ranges from 2,200mm in Chogoria forest to 500mm in Tharaka. The high altitude areas experience reliable rainfall while middle areas of the county receive moderate rainfall. The lower regions receive low, unreliable and poorly distributed rainfall.

The climate of the county is favourable for cultivation of tea, coffee, maize, cowpeas, pigeon peas, sorghum, millet, green grams, tobacco and a variety of other food crops.

However, there are unusual climate variability incidences arising from climatic change.

2 weeks ago

Tharaka Nithi County Government Official

Your loved ones suffering from kidney related illnesses can now access proper healthcare at our Chuka Referral Hospital as the Renal Unit is fully equipped.

This will in essence reduce trips to bordering counties to get the vital treatment.

This facility is up and running and there are qualified professionals to assist.

Tell a friend to tell a friend in need that healthcare is closer home.
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The County Government of Tharaka Nithi cordially invites you to our 3rd edition of Uragate Tharaka Cultural Festival and exhibition starting from 22nd to 25th August at the Uragate grounds near Meru National Park. The event will be graced by His Excellency The Deputy President Hon William Ruto. All are welcome......visit our website tharakanithi.go.ke
tharakanithi.go.ke/uragate-tharaka-cultural-festival/#more-15913 for more details.
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1 month ago

Tharaka Nithi County Government Official

Tharaka Nithi County Government has secured sponsorship for the annual Tharaka Cultural Festival from Media Max. The fete, will take place between August 22 to 25 in Ura Gate, Tharaka Constituency.

Governor Muthomi Njuki signed an MoU with the media house that has several outlets to promote the event that showcases and celebrates the cultural diversity of the people of Tharaka Nithi.

Dubbed Ura Gate Tharaka Cultural Festival, it will get coverage from the media house's television station, K24 and Kameme TV, People Daily, and it's radio stations, Meru F.M, Kameme F.M and Milele F.M regularly.

The County team,led by H.E Governor Muthomi Njuki met the Media Max top brass represented by Marketing Manager Mathews Karanja and Programmes Director Ken Ngaruiya.

H.E The Deputy President William Ruto is expected to grace the function.
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