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Eldoret is a town in western Kenyamarker and the administrative centre of Uasin Gishu District of Rift Valley Provincemarker. Lying south of the Cherangani Hillsmarker, 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 193,830 in 1999 (census),

and it is currently the fastest growing town in Kenya, and currently the 5th largest in Kenya.

The name "Eldoret" is based on the Maasai word "eldare" meaning "stony river"

because the bed of the nearby Sosiani River is very stony. The white settlers decided to call it Eldoret to make it easier for them to pronounce it. At start of the colonial era, the area was occupied by the Nandi, before that by the Maasai and before that the Sirikwa.


The official town site of Eldoret itself started in 1910 with a Post Office on what was known to the white settlers as "Farm 64", "64" or "Sisibo" to the locals because, at that time it was 64 miles from the newly built Uganda Railway railhead at Kibigorimarker. Willy van Aardt owned the farm. 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, the Eldoret area had been settled by Afrikaans-speaking South Africans who "trekked" there from Nakurumarker after a journey from South Africa by sea and by rail from Mombasamarker. Other European and Asian settlers and traders began arriving shortly afterwards.

When the governor decided to establish an administrative centre, the Post Office was renamed from "64" with the official town name as "Eldoret" in 1912. Becoming an administrative centre caused an enormous increase in trade within the prospective city. A bank and several shops were built.

The Uganda Railway extension, from Kibigori toward Uganda, reached Eldoret in 1924, starting a new era of prosperity and growth. In 1928, a piped water supply from the Sosiani River was installed. In 1933, the East African Power and Lighting Company installed an electricity generator plant. By that time, Eldoret had a small airport, and low-rental housing had been constructed.

Daniel arap Moi was born in the neighbouring Baringo District, and under his presidency, the town was developed further.

In 1984, Moi University was established by the government, and named after the country's 2nd president Daniel arap Moi.

Recent History

On January 1, 2008 a mob attacked and set fire to a church in the town, where hundreds of people had taken refuge during Kenyan massacres. As a result, up to 40 people, mostly Kikuyus, were burned to death.

Lucas Sang was murdered in the town while on his way home, when violence gripped Kenya in December 2007 in the aftermath of controversial presidential elections.

Local governance

Eldoret is governed by a municipal council. The municipality is divided into thirteen wards. Six of them (Eldoret North, Huruma, Kamukunji, Kapyemit, Kidiwa/Kapsuswa, and Stadium/Industrial) are in Eldoret North Constituency, Three (Hospital, Kapsoya and Kimumu/Sergoit) are in Eldoret East Constituency, and the remaining four (Kipkenyo, Langas, Pioneer/Elgon View and Race Course) are part of Eldoret South Constituency. All of these three constituencies have more wards within other local authorities than Eldoret municipality .

The current mayor of Eldoret is Sammy Ruto.


The town is now home to a large market, Moi University and Eldoret International Airport. It is also known for its cheese factory. Major industries include textiles, wheat, pyrethrum and corn. The town has a number of factories.

Eldoret is home to Moi University with a student population of 14,855 as of 2006. The second medical school in Kenya, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), is also located in within the city limits of Eldoret Town.

Eldoret Polytechnic, the third national polytechnic, is also located in the town.

Eldoret is the hometown of numerous legendary Kenyan runners, the most renowned of whom is Kipchoge Keino. The high altitude is an ideal training ground for many middle and long distance athletes. The runners from Eldoret have contributed significantly to the economy of Eldoret town from their winnings in races all over the world.

Eldoret is also surrounded by a very agricultural area, and for this reason is home to many farmers, some of whom carry a lot of political and economic clout, including the Kibogys and the Chemwenos.

Eldoret is also home to a number nationally recognised manufacturing industries like Raiplywoods, Ken-Knit and Lochab Brothers. All these industries were set up and developed by some of the oldest Indian origin families in the rift valley region namely The Rai's, The Shah's, The Lochab's and The Patel's.

Eldoret has a number of estates. Almost each estate has it identity. Some of the estates include; Elgon View, Langas, Huruma, Kapsoya, Kahoya, West Indies, West, Kipkaren, Kimumu, Jerusalem, Pioneer among many others

There is a growing professional crowd emerging in Eldoret now, whose presence is being felt in the town. Due to the Moi Referral and Teaching Hospital and Eldoret Hospital,which is also having specialised radiolgy services and Doctors Plaza, there is a host of experienced doctors. Among lawyers, the oldest firm in the region is Nyairo and Company, that was founded by Momanyi Alfred Nyairo in the sixties and is now run by his son, A.K. Nyairo.

Eldoret is also home to the International Association of Athletics Federations 's High Altitude Training Center for Kenyan and international athletes.


Eldoret International Airportmarker serves the city and was voted the cleanest airport in the country in 2001. The Trans -African highway also passes through the town. It is also served by the Kenya-Uganda railway.

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