Industrialization In Laikipia
The common extractive activity in the county consists of red sand harvesting along riverbeds in Laikipia North. Excavation of gravel and murram for road construction is also common. Crushing of ballast is also an important activity within the county. There lays great potential of ballast and sand harvesting for construction industry and use of concrete blocks. There exists one under-utilized crushing plant at Nanyuki. There is need to explore on other potential minerals in the county.
Industrial processing is minimal with milk processing plants and grain milling being the major firms. Storage and distribution of petroleum products is also undertaken at a low scale.
Alcoholic drinks processing is also an activity in Nanyuki.
Types and Numbers of Businesses
The major type businesses are wholesale and retail enterprises totaling to 119 and 96 respectively mainly in trading centers across the County. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Laikipia County has estimated 13,600-licensed MSMEs and 52,400 unlicensed MSMEs totaling to 66,000. These are in agriculture and forestry, whole sale trade, retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, repair of motor cycles, accommodation and food services, construction, information and communication, arts and music, professional and technical services.
Blue Economy and Fisheries
Fishing activities are carried out in ponds, rivers and water reservoirs. The main activities are in 900 ponds, 125 water reservoirs and one fingerling multiplication farm. The main species produced are Catfish and Tilapia.
Laikipia is served by 16 banks, 2 microfinance institutions and 15 insurance companies operating within Nanyuki and Nyahururu townships. There are 117 SACCOs with the FOSAs in Laikipia and 3 main mobile money service providers. Agricultural Finance Corporation runs two branches in Nanyuki and Nyahururu. The county established two funds namely Laikipia enterprise fund and Laikipia cooperative revolving fund that issued loans to 83 groups and 35 cooperative societies.
Laikipia is drained by the Ewaso Ngiro River and its tributaries, which originate from Mt. Kenya and the Aberdares. The main tributaries are Ewaso Narok (Ngare Naro), Narumoru, Likii,
Sirimon, Ontulili, Ngare ndare, Melwa, Ngare Nything, Ngobit, Rongai, Timau, Moyak, Pesi, Suguroi, Mutara, Nanyuki, and Burguret rivers. Boreholes, pans, dams, shallow wells, springs and sub-surface dams are also a common feature in the county for domestic and irrigation purposes. Rock catchment in the northern parts of Laikipia is increasingly being exploited.
Water Supply Schemes
There are 507 small water clusters that provide services in market centers, institutions and settlement schemes.
Water Sources and Access
The distribution of water sources is uneven across the county with the northern parts experiencing serious water shortages. There are 14 per cent of households accessing water from within their dwelling while 10 per cent of the households take an average of 1-4 minutes to reach the nearest water point mainly the population that lives in the urban centers. Similarly, 25.3 per cent of households take an average of 5-14 minutes and 44.7 per cent of the households take an average of 15-29 minutes. The remaining 6 per cent of the households take over an hour to reach the nearest water point. Water demand in the county is projected to be 27,981m3/day by the year 2030.
The urban centers have established Water Services and Sanitation/Sewerage Companies in Nanyuki and Nyahururu. There are 29 WRUAs that run water resources across the county in collaboration with Water Resource Authority (WRA). CETRAD is the main research institution hosted in the county on environment, water and natural resources. Ewaso Nyiro North Development Authority serves Laikipia amongst other 9 counties in northern Kenya region. Water Resource Authority has a regional county office as well in Laikipia East and Laikipia West sub regions.