Monday, 04 April 2022 11:03

COG, NATIONAL LANDS MINISTRY AND FAO TO ROLL OUT SH2.7BN EU-FUNDED LAND GOVERNANCE PROGRAM IN APRIL

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The Council of Governors (GoG), the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning (MoLPP), and the National Land Commission (NLC) are set to roll out an FAO-led Land Governance Programme in April with the aim of enhancing efficient and effective land governance through the digitization of land records and processes.
The Land Governance Programme funded by the European Union to the tune of €20,848,805 (Sh2.7bn) also seeks to improve conflict and dispute resolution mechanisms on land and natural resources and strengthen the policy, legal and institutional frameworks for land governance.
The five-year project initiated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) will run from April 1, 2022 to March 30, 2027.
Speaking during the launch, Lands Cabinet Secretary, Ms. Farida Karoney lauded the enormous contribution by FAO/EU towards the digitization of land records. The CS noted that the digitization programme has been successful owing to the robust collaboration between the Ministry, National Land Commission (NLC), Judiciary, County Governments, NGOs and other stakeholders in the land sector.
The Digital Land Governance Programme was secured to support all the 47 Counties in improving food and nutrition security, livelihoods and sustainable development in Kenya through equitable and secure access and management of land as per Vision 2030.
The key outcome of the programme themed; ‘Support to the Attainment of Vision 2030 through Devolved Land Reforms in Community Lands of Kenya’ is meant to strengthen the security of tenure and equitable access to land and natural resources for enhancement of livelihoods and sustainable socioeconomic development. The programme was previously supporting 9 Counties that were predominantly ASAL.
The COG Chairman, H.E Martin Wambora noted, ‘Land ownership remains a politically sensitive and culturally complex issue in Kenya. Since independence, it has been characterized by disputes over ownership, security of tenure and use’. He added that, ‘Just like in many nations, the land is a capital resource and factor of production. It sustains many livelihoods as a means for income generation, food security and guarantor of other economic undertakings’.
The project outputs include; improved land management and administration in the Counties (including securing community land tenure), promotion and establishment of participatory land-use planning methodologies, improved policy and legal framework through the Voluntary Guidelines on the Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries & Forests (VGGT) and strengthening the capacity of research institutions on land tenure and management issues.
Despite the efforts put in place in the first phase of the programme, management and use of land continue to face myriad of challenges ranging from 68% of Kenyans being without land documentation or tenure security, inefficient land transaction processes and high costs associated with land transactions. Further, socio-economic and environmental impacts of COVID-19, corruption in the land sector, poor land use planning & management and prolonged access to justice processes have continued to derail land reforms in the country. The Land Governance program is expected to accelerate intended policy, legal and institutional reforms in the lands sector.
In this regard, the Council of Governors has prioritized the following areas under the programme; Provide technical support to County Governments through capacity building and training on Physical and Land Use Development Planning processes, Support Counties in establishment of GIS Labs, Facilitate the formation and training of Community Land Management Committees, Support the development and review of valuation roles, Facilitating training and capacity building of County Climate change units, Facilitating the development of model laws on natural resource management, Support the maintenance of the devolution forest in Makueni County, Train women on land tenure and property rights.

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