County Profile of Garissa County

Garissa County Officials

County Code: 007

Current Governor: Nathif Jama Adam

Current Senator: Abdulkadir Mohamed Haji

Garissa County is an administrative county in Kenya. It is located in Eastern Kenya bordering Somalia to the East, Wajir County and Isiolo County to the North, Tana River County to the West and Lamu County to the South. Its capital and largest urban area is Garissa.

The county was created by the 2010 Constitution of Kenya as the new units of devolved government. Prior to the 2010 constitution, Garissa County was part of the North Eastern Province which was one of the former provinces of Kenya. The North Eastern Province was carved out of the then Northern Frontier District (NFD) prior to independence.


Garissa County has a land area of about 44,753 km2 (17,279 sq mi). The County is basically low-lying and flat with no hills, valleys and mountains. It rises from a low point of 200m above sea level on the southern sides through bush-covered plains to about 400m above sea level on its northern parts. The physical features of Garissa County include mountains, rivers, valleys, and plains. The County is known for River Tana, which flows through the County from Mounty Kenya.

The Bour-Algi Giraffe Sanctuary, situated 5 km south of Garissa, is home to endangered wildlife including the Rothschild giraffe, gerenuk and other herbivores including Kirk’s dik-dik, lesser kudu, warthog and waterbuck.


As of January 2022, the demographics of Garissa County were as follows;

Population: Garissa County had a population of approximately 800,000 people in 2019. The population is predominantly composed of various Somali ethnic groups.

Ethnic Groups: The majority of the population in Garissa County is of Somali ethnic background. This includes subgroups like the Ogaden, Ajuran, Degodia, and others. There are also smaller populations of other ethnic groups.

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion in Garissa County, with the vast majority of the population being Muslim.

Languages: The Somali language, particularly the various dialects of the Somali language, is widely spoken. Additionally, Swahili and English are used for administrative and business purposes.

Urbanization: The county’s population is primarily rural, with a smaller urban population residing in towns like Garissa (the county headquarters), Dadaab, and Hulugho.

Economic Activities: The economy is primarily based on agriculture, livestock farming, and trade. Many residents in rural areas engage in pastoralism, while those in towns are involved in trade and commerce.

Education: Access to education has been a significant challenge in Garissa County, particularly in rural areas. Efforts have been made to improve educational infrastructure and opportunities for the local population.

Ethnicity and Religion

Historically, ethnic Somalis have been the dominant population in Garissa. The Somali group includes several sub-groups such as the Ogaden, Ajuran, Degodia, and others. There are also smaller populations of other ethnic groups such as Kikuyus.

The major religion professed by over 70% of the population is Islam, followed by Christianity.

Administrative Units

Garissa County is composed of 6 Constituencies, 30 electoral wards, and 7 sub-counties. Below is the list of current constituencies, wards, and elected member of parliaments per constituency as well as members of County Assembly.

  1. List of Constituencies in Garissa County and their Members of Parliament
Constituency Member of Parliament (MP)
Garissa Township Hon. Mohamed Dekow Barrow
Fafi Hon. Salah Yakub Farah
Dadaab Hon. Farah Maalim
Lagdera Hon. Abdikadir Hussein Mohamed
Balambala Hon. Abdi Omar Shurie
Ijara Hon. Abdi Ali Abdi
  1. List of Wards in Garissa County and their MCAs
Constituency Electoral Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA)
Garissa Township Constituency Waberi Abubakar Haji Sugow
Galbet Abubakar Mohamed Khalif
Township Hussein Mohamed Dagane
Iftin Musdaf Abdirashid Ahmed
Balambala Constituency Balambala Abdi Ibrahim Daar
Danyere Idris Ismail Aden
Jarajara Adan Hussein Durow
Saka Abdiweli Aden Abdullahi
Sankuri Abdirahman Mohamed Ali
Lagdera Constituency Modogashe Mahat Abdikadir Ibrahim
Benane Abdiqayum Sugow Nurow
Goreale Fakrudin Haji Sadik
Maalimin Hajir Mahat Farah
Sabena Issa Aden Abdi
Baraki Hassan Dahir Noor
Dadaab Constituency Dertu Aden Hassan Odowa
Dadaab Mohamed Abdi Farah (Aboo)
Labasigale Mohamed Sheikh Abdisalat
Damajale Omar Abdi Hassan
Liboi Ahmed Abdirahman Shiekh
Abakaile Hajir Mohamed Dahiye
Fafi Constituency Bura Ali Abdihakim Haret
Dekaharia Ahmed Noor Aden
Jarajila Noor Sheikh Farah
Fafi Hassan Aden Kolosho
Nanighi Abdullahi Ibrahim Sigat
Ijara Constituency Hulugho Adow Omar Said
Sangailu Abdi Muhyadin Abdi
Ijara Abdirahman Muktar Muhumed
Masalani Yunis Abdi Ibrahim
  1. List of Sub Counties in Garissa County with their Populations

Garissa County is a tapestry of diverse sub-counties, each with its unique character and charm. From the bustling urban center of Garissa Town to the tranquil landscapes of Ijara, the region offers a mosaic of cultures, traditions, and natural beauty. Experience the warmth of the people in Balambala, the rich history of Fafi, and the economic vibrancy of Dadaab. In Garissa County, you’ll find a harmonious blend of tradition and progress, where the past meets the future, creating a tapestry of opportunity and heritage that defines our beloved sub-counties.

Sub County Area (km2) Population
2019 Census
Balambala 3,684 32,257 8.8
Dadaab 6,415 185,252 28.9
Fafi 15,050 134,030 8.9
Garissa 3,318 163,914 49.4
Hulugho 7,737 133,984 17.3
Ijara 2,453 141,591 57.7
Lagdera 6,096 50,315 8.3
Totals 44,753 841,353 18.8

Agriculture, Trade and Commerce

The main crops grown are maize, greengrams, sorghum, rice, cowpeas, bananas, mangoes, pawpaw, water melon, tomatoes, capsicum and onions. Farmers have an average size of 1.5 hectares for small scale and 20 hectares for large scale. Cattle (boran), goats (galla), sheep (black headed Persian) and camel (dromedary one humped) are kept as the main livestock for producing key products of meat, milk, hides and skins.

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