Tana River County Profile

Tana River County

County Code: 004

Current Governor: Dhadho Gaddae Godhana

Current Senator: Golich Juma Wario.

Tana River County is one of the forty seven (47) counties in the Republic of Kenya. The County takes its name from River Tana which is the longest river in Kenya. It is a County in the former Coast Province, Kenya with an area of 35,375.8 square kilometers (13,658.7 sq mi) and a population of 262,684 according to the 2012 census. The administrative headquarter of the county is Hola. The County has three sub counties; Bura, Galole and Garsen.


Tana River County is one of the six Counties in the Coast region. It borders Kitui County to the West, Garissa County to the North East, Isiolo County to the North, Lamu County to the South East and Kilifi County to the South. The most striking topographical feature of the county is the River Tana that traverses the county from the Aberdares in the North to the Indian Ocean in the South covering a stretch of approximately 500km. The County also has other physical features such as Lagas River, which feeds River Tana, as well as Bilbil hills, and Tana River plains. Tana River County also consists of forest, woodland and grassland which are minor centers of endemism.

The county is largely dry and receives little rainfall, especially during the long rains of March to May. According to research reports, 79% of Tana River County is food insure due to its aridness and limited resources. Although the county is generally dry, it encounters regular flooding in River Tana when heavy rainfall is experienced in upstream areas.


According to the 2019 Kenya Census, Tana River County had a population of 315,943 people. The major ethnic groups living in Tana River County are Somalis, Pokomo and Oromo. In terms of religion, Muslims are the majority at 81%, followed by Christians at 18%. Tana River County experiences regular ethnic conflicts resulting in deaths as people compete for scarce resources including water and pasture. The most recent violent clash was between Promo and Pokomo ethnic groups, which resulted in 52 deaths in 2012.

Economic Activities

The major economic activity for Tana River County is Agriculture, which is done mainly through irrigation and livestock farming.

  • Cash crops grown in Tana River include; Rice. Mangoes, Maize, Bananas, and Soya beans
  • Food crops include: Cassava, Green grams, Beans, Peas and Kales

The areas where the cash crops are grown in Tana River County are along River Tana. Rice is grown along Tana River.

The types of livestock kept include: Beef cattle, Black head Persian sheep, Galla goat, Single-humped camel

Fishing is also another important economic activity in the county. The availability of the Tana River and the Indian Ocean coastline has seen fishing activities in the county. However, most of the fishing in the county is on small scale or domestic consumption.

Mining is also an important economic activity in Tana River Count, which includes the mining of Gypsum, Barite, illmenite, uranium, and iron ore.


Tana River County is subdivided into administrative units known as sub counties and wards. The three constituencies in the county are: Garsen, Galole, and Bura. There are also three sub counties with the same names as constituencies.

Constituency No of Wards Wards Member of Parliament
Garsen 6 Kipini East, Garsen South, Kipini West, Garsen Central, Garsen West, Garsen North Ali Wario Guyo
Galole 4 Kinakomba, Mikinduni, Chewani, Wayu Said Buya Hiribae
Bura 5 Chewele, Hirimani, Bangale, Sala, Madogo Ali Wario
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