MOMBASA, March 10, 2023.
Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary Generali Nixon Korir today led senior officials from the Department to a joint retreat with the National Assembly Committee on Lands to brief MPs on priority areas of work as well as challenges.
The meeting held in Mombasa was also attended by the National Lands Commission Chairman Gershom Otachi.
The PS said the overall objective of the meeting, which was organized by the National Assembly, was to apprise the committee on the progresses and challenges faced by the department in its mandate.
Department officials briefed MPs on the status of the work in their sections, with MPs showing keenness to know the status of the progress of the digitization programme.
PS Korir said land was at the center of all economic activities and that was why it should be given appropriate policy and budgetary allocation.
“Secure access to land, sustainable land use planning and equitable distribution of land remain immensely important for food security, employment creation and the socio-economic development of the country,” said the PS when he addressed the opening of the retreat.
While speaking on the strategic plan of the State Department, PS Korir said the mission of the department was to facilitate improvement of the livelihood of Kenyans through efficient land administration, equitable access, secure tenure and sustainable management of land resources.
The MPs were also taken through a demonstration of Ardhisasa, the land information management system, through which Kenyans can now access all land related services.
The PS told the committee led by Hon Joash Nyamache Nyamoko (MP North Mugirango) and deputized by Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), to support the department in addressing the issues of insufficient budgetary allocations for the department to provide efficient services.
Some of the other challenges the PS cited included the high number of litigation cases and the backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic
The committee chairman said it was important for the MPs to be conversant with the mandate of the State Department and to understand some of the initiatives it was implementing.
He said one main area of focus for them was the digitization programme and also the issue of compensation for land owners whose lands were used for Government projects.
The joint meeting bringing together the PS, Senior ministry officials, National Assembly Committee on Lands and the NLC also provided a once in a lifetime opportunity for groups of farmers who had grievances about leases and titles for their group ranches in Tana River.
A member of the committee, Garsen MP Ali Wario Guyo, had arranged for the leaders of the group ranches to come and get a brief session with the PS, MPs and NLC chairman where they explained that they have for several years been denied renewal of titles and leases for group ranches that were allocated to them in the 1970’s.
The PS promised that there was no justification to deny poor people their rights and that was the reason why President William Ruto has promised the people of the coast region that their perennial land problems will be addressed by the Government.
“We have agreed with the National Lands Commission chairman Garshom Otachi that we shall set time to visit Tana River county to settle the titling of the ranches,”said the PS.
The PS has been on a working tour of the coast region for the last three days.