Tuesday, 24 September 2019 11:31

Development of the Physical land use planning through Classification of strategic and inter county projects regulations 2019

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The Physical and Land Use Planning Act 2019 confers the Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Physical planning the role of making regulations on the Physical land use and planning with the view of making regulations for the classification and inter county projects. In this regard, physical and land use planning prescribes the appropriate use of land to ensure that there is harmony, efficiency, productivity, equity, aesthetically appealing human settlements and ultimately a sustainable environment for the current and future generations. This is achieved through application of policies and standards, design of inter relationship of activities as well as preparation, enforcement of plans and regulation of physical and land use profession.
The Ministry of Lands Physical Planning and Urban Development coordinated a stakeholder engagement session in the development of regulations that will classify strategic inter county projects. Prior to this discussions Directors and CECMs from the Lands and Infrastructure department in the Counties held meetings to give input to the draft document whose overall outlook seemed to claw back on the spirit of devolution. For instance under development control, implementation and monitoring section 69 categorization of projects the draft noted that the Cabinet Secretary was to be in charge of metropolitan area sect 4 of 69. All this sections are however devolved functions and thus converting the regulations spatially will take up the roles and responsibilities of counties.
The discussions were kick started through stakeholder meeting involving all sector players supported by the FAO. In the meeting officiated by the Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Planning Mr. Gideon Mung’aro urged all players to add value into the draft document in order to ensure that projects implemented by both levels of government are properly coordinated.
County Governments represented by the CEC Lands and Physical Planning Kericho County, Mr. Ngeno Barnabas decried the manner in which the regulations were prepared without the involvement of Counties. He further called upon adequate time for the CoG and Counties to hold meaningful discussions to enrich the document so that the functions of both levels of government in implementing the regulations are clearly stipulated.
Thereafter, after several discussions with the Directors, the Chief Executive Committee members, both National and County Government representative jointly reviewed the regulations to look into how projects that are in essence devolved but have to be implemented at both levels of government can be mutually developed.
FAO representative Ms. Ursla noted that in the realization of Vision 2030 and the Constitution of Kenya 2010 FAO was ready to support processes of land use. “The urge to improve towns and infrastructure is quite high especially with the advent of devolution. Hence we need to put up measures to avoid getting to the extreme of climate change”, she said.
The meeting appreciated that in the design of the regulations, both levels of government are distinct and inter dependent and this same spirit needed be embraced. The draft regulations were forwarded to the Principal Secretary Ministry of Lands for further consideration and review through public participation.
Other participants in this discussions include; County Attorneys, Kenya Power and Lighting Company, Kenya Wildlife Services, Kenya Airports Authority, Communications Authority, Kenya Institute of Planners, Survey of Kenya, Institute of Surveyors Kenya, Kenya National Highway Authority.
Previously, CECs Lands, Urban development, Planning and Housing in a consultative meeting reviewed the Built Environment Bill and the Slum Upgrading and Prevention Bill.
The Built Environment Bill addresses issues such as a lack of a comprehensive legislation for building control, lack of a legally enforceable building regulation in Kenya, lack a legal framework at the moment to address dangerous buildings that pose a threat to life as well as a limited capacity for building control functions at the county levels. It therefore seeks to establish standards and practices relating to building, maintenance and associated works. It also establishes the National Buildings Inspectorate for auditing of buildings, preparing building manuals and certifying and accredited checkers and technical assistance and capacity for building for counties.
The Slum upgrading and Prevention Bill on the other hand was brought by the need for people to have a fundamental right to live with basic dignity and in decent conditions. As is often said “If slums are allowed to deteriorate, governments can lose control of the populace and slums become areas of crime and disease that impact the whole city”. The upgrading efforts would help to create a dynamic community where there is a sense of ownership, entitlement and inward investment in the area. One of the key elements of slum upgrading is legalizing or regularizing properties and bringing secure land tenure to residents. The Bill will therefore provide for upgrading and re-development of slums, put in place measures to prevent further development of slums and provide for institutional and funding framework.

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