A new policy has been launched that is expected to address perennial land problems in Kenya.
Speaking during the launch at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, Deputy President William Ruto said the document establishes transparent, accountable and participatory decision-making processes, a move that would help check on the “abnormally” high cost of land in some parts of the country.
Once the Policy is adopted, Mr Ruto said the issue of unplanned settlements that have impacted negatively on the environment would also be checked.
The Deputy President noted that the new document would not only offer a solid roadmap of land issues in Kenya but also push for sound land use practices and conservation of land and land-based resources.
“The land challenges we have today is as a result of poor planning. That is why in regions like Nairobi, the cost of land is extremely high, making it an expensive place for businessmen to invest in,” he said.
Besides employing the Policy, referred to as the Sessional Paper No.1 of 2017, to address land problems in the country, Mr Ruto called on the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to lead the way in forecasting and planning on the land requirements of the country.
He observed that the successful implementation of the Policy will place Kenya on an accelerated path to Vision 2030, through the Big Four agenda.
“There is no room for failure or mediocre work in implementing the policy. Therefore, every effort must be committed to ensuring that it succeeds in addressing food insecurity, unplanned settlements, inefficient land practices and environmental degradation,” he said.
According to the Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney, the National Land Use Policy sets out long-term goals on land use management.
Ms Karoney said the policy provides legal, administrative, institutional and technological framework for optimal use and productivity of land in a sustainable way.
“This policy calls for the allocation of lands and issuance of titles on the basis of approved physical development plans. It further advocates for an audit and mapping out of the number and location of informal settlements and provide security of tenure,” she said.
Once the policy is implemented, the CS noted, land use planning across the country would be enhanced resulting in efficient, productive and sustainable use of land and land-based resources.
“This will result in balanced development and reduced land use conflicts in the country,” she added.