Living In Tharaka Nithi
Meru County is mainly a Christian stronghold. Although there are Catholics, Presbyterian and Anglican faithfuls, the Methodist church commands the largest following in this region, with Muslims and Hindus most of whom live around Meru town comprising the smallest religious group.
Culturally, the Ameru believed in an ancestral god called Murungu or Arega Kuthera. There was deep reverence for the spirit of the living dead. Ameru believed in offering sacrifices to their dead ancestors. The divine leader of the Ameru was called the Mugwe. These were respected persons who made sacrifices and performed healing on behalf of the tribe. However, with the arrival of Christianity, the cultural rites and functions have become obsolete.
Climate and Weather
The climate in Tharaka Nithi can be described as cool and warm. Temperature ranges between 16°C during the cold season and 23°C in the hot-warm season. Meru receives an average rainfall of between 500mm and 2600mm each year.
The county’s economy relies mostly on agriculture. Most people are engaged in subsistence farming where they grow common foods such as maize, beans, sorghum, millet cabbages and fruits. Other grow coffee and tea as cash crops and take their teas for processing in nearby factories including Weru, Kionyo, Githongo and Imenti Tea Factory.
Commercial fruit growing has become popular under Bill and Melinda Gates foundation’s Project Nurture. This includes small scale growing of mangoes and passion fruit in Imenti. The county is renowned for its wide scale growing of the Miraa (Khat) – a herbal plant, which turned a lucrative cash crop for the locals. The Khat is mostly grown in Maua, Igembe and Tigania and fetches millions of shilling in the export market for its farmers.
The county offer a variety of places to stay, from mid-range hotels to budget accomodation.
Among them is White Star Hotel, Meru County Hotel, Murera Bandas, Hotel Three Steers, Meru Safari Hotel, Simba Wells and Blue Towers Hotel. Others are Royal Prince Restaurant, Leopard Rock Lodge, Kina Bandas and Meru Luxury House.
Camping facilities are provided in camping sites found in various locations including Kanjoo, Kampi Baridi; Kitanga; Makutano; Rojoweru; Mugunga, Ken Mare and Bwatherongi public campsite.
Among them is the Central Bank of Kenya Currency Centre to serve the region and over 20 bank branches from different commercial banks. These include National Bank, Equity, Co-Operative, Family Bank, KCB, Standard Chartered, Ecobank, Diamond Trust and other mainstream banks. The country has several micro-financial firms including K-Rep, KWFT, Faulu Kenya, and post bank branches the popular M-pesa mobile money transfer is an alternative banking options for the county locals.
The county is served by a number of leading shopping outlets and supermarket chains which include Tuskys, Nakumatt, Budget, Uchumi and Samrat supermarkets. Other shopping outlets include Jube and Kaka supermarkets. Most of these are found in several towns within the county including Nkubu and Meru town.