Isiolo residents are either Muslims or Christians, with the highest percentage of the population being of the Muslim faith, something that is evident from the many mosques seen as one traverses the county. Most if not all the Somalis and a sizeable number of Boranas are Muslims while the Ameru practice Christianity.
Scarcity of arable land and pasture is a daily challenge for the people of Isiolo, a phenomena that is witnessed from the constant community conflicts that plague the county. The Borana are nomadic pastoralists, moving from one area to another – within the county and in neighboring counties in search of pasture and water for their goats, camels and cows.
Traditionally, men are entrusted with livestock rearing and securing against cattle rustlers, while the women stay home and perform all domestic duties including constructing the houses; mostly out of mud and taking care of the children. Among the Borana, Turkana, and Ameru, the younger boys normally take care of the goats while young men take care of the cows. As cattle raids are expected at any time, the young strong men go around armed, in search of pasture and water for livestock.
Cattle rustling is almost an acceptable tradition of the Turkanas, but one that consequently affects other tribes like the Borana and the Maasai who are then forced to protect their livestock from the cattle raiders.