Ruiru (Kiambu County), Kenya: A Town In The Making
Ruiru Town, Kenya
Ruiru, a town emerging in terms of population and economic growth as witnessed in recent years benefited immensely from the construction of Super Thika Highway and will be benefiting from other projects that are underway.
The town is located in Kiambu County.
The construction of Thika Super Highway and Northern Bypass has put Ruiru at a strategic point. It only takes less than 30 minutes to reach the capital city of Kenya, Nairobi at a distance of 21 kilometers and less than 15 minutes to reach one of the top industrialized towns in the country, Thika at a distance of 17 kilometers.
Population Growth in Ruiru
According to 1991 estimation, Ruiru had a population of over 100,000 people while in the year 2005 it grew to a population of over 200,000. Currently, the population stands at over 234,000 signifying an increase in population growth mainly attributed to high migration of people from rural areas to Nairobi resulting to housing shortage in Nairobi.
Among the top ten cities and towns in the country, Ruiru is ranked as the sixth most populated region, housing more than 100,000 people. The first five are Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Mombasa.
Renting a room in Ruiru is cheaper than surrounding towns as single rooms cost between Kshs. 1,500 – 2,500 a month, double rooms at Kshs. 4,000, a bed-sitter at Kshs. 5,000-6,000, one-bedroom costs Kshs. 6,000-7,000 and two-bedrooms at Kshs. 8,000-9,000.
Water is not a problem in this town as the main source of water supply is from boreholes as opposed to provision of water by the Municipal Council. Therefore, rationing of water does not affect a large percentage of households and if it happens, there is accessible water which can be bought from the water vendors at cheaper prices. However, in Ruiru water is rarely rationed.
In fact, the Municipal Council of Ruiru supplies water to surrounding environs or smaller towns.
Economic Status in Ruiru
Ruiru is famously known as one of the top producers of coffee in the country. The coffee plantations cover a sizable land and offer employment to many Ruiru residents especially those from the lower class.
As such, Ruiru as is the case in Nairobi is divided into three income groups, namely; the lower, middle and upper class. The lower class forms a huge part of the population followed by the middle class. The upper class consists of a lower percentage.
Ruiru is well-covered with industries that have not only provided employment but have contributed to economic growth in the town. These industries have also been instrumental in renovation, construction and expansion of schools that fall within the region and general infrastructure such as roads. These industries include both factories and banks. They are: Spinners & Spinners Ltd, Brookside Dairy Ltd, Devki Steel Mills, Bogani Industries, Jetlak Foods Ltd, National Bank of Kenya, Equity Bank of Kenya, Cooperative Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Family Bank and PostBank.
Health Facilities and Institutions of Higher Learning
Ruiru is well-covered in terms of health services as they are easily accessible and people from surrounding towns visit the hospitals for treatment. There are three major private hospitals in Ruiru - Nazareth, Kalimoni and Ruiru Private Hoospital. There is one public or government hospital, Ruiru Hospital and several small private hospitals. The government hospital receives a high number of in-and-out patients and is a center of field attachment or internship for medical students. There are numerous clinics and pharmaceuticals that not only sell drugs but carry out general treatment such as pregnancy and malaria tests.
In terms of higher education, Ruiru prides itself in housing one of the best and most known university not only nationally but internationally with respect to the awards the institution has received as a center of research - Kenyatta University. Kenyatta University's Main Campus is a five-minute distance to Ruiru by road although it has a branch in Ruiru known as Kenyatta University's Ruiru Campus. Not only does this institution accept students from around the world but also has been involved in coming up with studies that would lead to the region's growth.
Other registered middle-level colleges registered with the Ministry of Higher Education are: Compuera College, Royal College of Science and Technology; Zetech and Nairobi Institute of Business Studies have branches in this town.
Ruiru, regarded as a future town is expected to be one of the towns in the country that will hugely benefit from the proposed multi-billion Tatu City and another similar project known as the North Land City. It's also expected that the town will attract business opportunities or investments from major key players in the country.
The town houses one five-star hotel, luxurious in its nature and well-beautified both internally and outside. There are other nice hotels and restaurants.
Definitely, this is a town to watch out as it promises better things to come.