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Uasin Gishu District

Uasin Gishu District is a political region of Kenya in the Rift Valley. The city of Eldoret is its capital, administrative center and commercial center. There is a large population of white immigrants from England, Scotland, South Africa and Zimbabwe, who have come to settle and farm.

The Uasin Gishu District has a cool and temperate climate and is located on a plateau. It borders the Trans-Nzoia District.


Eldoret is a town in western Kenya and the administrative centre of Uasin Gishu District of Rift Valley Province. The local elevation varies from about 2100 metres above sea level at the airport to more than 2700 metres in nearby areas (7000-9000 feet). The population was 167,016 in 1999 (census) and it is currently the fastest growing town in Kenya, and currently the 5th largest in Kenya.

The name is based on the Masai word "Eldoret" meaning "stony river" because the bed of the nearby Sosiani River is very stony. A "t" was added to make it sound like a Nandi word. At start of the colonial era, the area was occupied by the Nandi, before that by the Masai and before that the Sirikwa.

The town of Eldoret itself started in 1910 with a post office on what was known to the white settlers as "Farm 64" or just "64" because, at that time it was 64 miles from the newly built Uganda Railway railhead at Kibigori. Willy van Aardt owned the farm. The town was officially named "Eldoret" in 1912. Peter van Aardt, now living in England, is Willy's great grandson. The Central Lounge in Eldoret is all that remains of Willy's farm.

In 1908, Eldoret was settled by Afrikaans-speaking South Africans who "trekked" there from Nakuru after a journey from South Africa by sea and by rail from Mombasa. Other European and Asian settlers and traders began arriving shortly afterwards.

The railway extension toward Uganda reached Eldoret in 1924 starting a new era of prosperity and growth. In 1928 a piped water supply from Sosiani River was installed. In 1933, the East African Power and Lighting Company installed an electricity generator. Eldoret's economy is made up of textiles, Wheat, Pyrethrum, Corn and has a number of factories.

Eldoret boasts an international airport, voted the cleanest airport in the country in 2001[1]. It also has a university - Moi University - founded in 1984, which as of 2006 has 11,778 students.

Eldoret is the hometown of numerous Kenyan star runners, the most renowned of whom is Kipchoge Keino. The high altitude is an ideal training ground for many legendary Kenyan athletes because it trains the lungs to get more air.


More Articles from Kenya - West Pokot/Transnzoia/Bungoma/Uasin Gishu

Districts from Kenya - West Pokot/Transnzoia/Bungoma/Uasin Gishu

National Parks from Kenya - West Pokot/Transnzoia/Bungoma/Uasin Gishu

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