The government is banking on the implementation of a new land policy to deal with poor land management, which leads to challenges such as grabbing of riparian land and water towers.
Speaking on Tuesday in Nairobi during the launch of Sessional Paper No 1 of 2017 on National Land Use Policy, Deputy President William Ruto said the abuse and degradation of riparian land and water towers were among the challenges caused by poor land management.
He said that if fully implemented, the policy prepared by the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning will also help curb emergent informal settlements and the skyrocketing cost of land, especially in urban areas.
Of the Sh17 billion budgeted for a five-year action plan whose implementation began in 2016, Sh4 billion will be used to map, as well as restore and reclaim riparian land throughout the country by 2019/2020.
LAND USE PLANS
“We expect to see the development of land-use plans by the national and county governments. This policy must lead to the development and continuous improvement of a transparent, accountable, sustainable and comprehensive participatory structure of managing land,” he said.
Among the key guidelines in the policy are the issuance of land titles on the basis of approved physical development plans, the provision of legal security of tenure in informal settlements, the establishment of an inventory of all land uses in the country, and establishing effective physical planning structures at the county level.
The policy will contribute to the government’s achievement of its “Big Four” agenda, especially regarding food security and the provision of quality, affordable housing.
Speaking at the launch, Land CS Farida Karoney said the policy is crucial since it aligns the existing land laws and regulations to offer a clearer guideline on the proper use and productivity of land both at the national and county levels.
“Legislation affecting land has not been harmonised in the past, thereby causing conflicts,” she said, citing the differences in the definitions of riparian land in different pieces of legislation.
The launch was also attended by Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri, Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro and representatives from the European Union, Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Wildlife Fund.
The policy document indicates that the implementation will be overseen by the Land ministry, which will supervise a National Council, a National Technical Implementation Committee and a County Technical Implementation Committee. The National Land Commission will monitor it.