chapter  X
21 Pages

Land Consolidation and Redistribution of Population in the Imenti Sub-tribe of the Meru (Kenya)

The Meru tribes formerly occupied a part of the Kikuyu Native Land Unit, but a separate Meru Native Land Unit was created in October 1958. The tribes living in it are the Meru, Mwimbi, Muthambe, Tharaka and Chuka. It lies to the east and north-east of Mount Kenya, which is the dominant feature, others of importance being the Nyambeni Range in the north-east of the District. The District as a whole has a wide range of climate and fertility, from the edge of the Mount Kenya Forest, with an altitude of 7–8,000 feet and average annual rainfall of over 80 inches, down to the hot, infertile region near the Tana River, the south-easterly boundary of the District, which lies at only 2–3,000 feet and has an annual rainfall of less than 20 inches. The Meru recognize a number of sub-tribes – the Imenti, Miutini and Egoji which live on the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya, and the Tigania and Igembe which live to the south-west and north-east of the Nyambeni range.