The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held a 3 day consultative forum on National as well as County Land Policies with the West Pokot Members of County Assembly, through the European Union-funded Land Programme.
The objectives of the forum were to increase the policymakers’ knowledge on the National Land Laws, finalize the discussions on the County Spatial Development Plan (2016-2026) in order for it to be incorporated into the 2018/2022 County Integrated Development Plan(CIDP) and build a momentum for county land use policies to improve land governance and address land conflict.
|MCAs at the forum|
All the elected and nominated MCAs who were present highlighted the land challenges faced at their respective wards including the slow pace of land adjudication, land encroachment, subdivisions, conflicts and communities being in darkness on the contents of land laws and inter-county boundary conflicts.
Mr. Joel Arumonyang, CEC Member for Lands, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development asked the MCAs to channel more funds towards improving service delivery which will be complemented by the Lands Programme of digitalizing land records and establishment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) Lab. He added that investors will shun the county if the security of land tenure is not assured.
|CEC Member. Joel Arumonyang addressing MCAs during the forum|
“For now, the Department is in dire need of staff that will handle the registry, survey, adjudication and mapping of land in the county. We have already requested the National Government to provide more staff and still waiting for their response which we hope will be soon” said the CEC.
The Members of the Lands Committee for the meantime were tasked with documenting the inter-county boundary issues so that planning for inter-county dialogue forums-with the support of the FAO’s Land Programme can begin.
William Lopetakou, Pokot Cultural Ambassador and SIKOM director together with Sebastian Menza- Lands Technical Officer from FAO tackled the Community Land Act which integrally affects the MCAs and their residents.
|Hon Speaker. Mrs. Catherine Mukenyang' and the Lands Commitee members|
The forum was graced by the Speaker, Hon. Catherine Mukenyang', Chair of the Lands Committee Hon. Johnstone Lokato, Chief Officer Lands Mr. Elijah Lopuke, CO Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Timothy Lokopia and GeoInformatics Limited led by Mr. Zackary Maritim. GeoInformatics is a consultancy company that is assisting the county to develop the 2016-2026 County Spatial Development Plan.
Departmental heads representing County Physical Planning, Survey, Land Registry, Adjudication and the National Land Commission were also in attendance.