Lands and Physical Planning CS, Farida Karoney has emphasized on the importance of the trengthening the capacity of counties to plan for urbanization and effective public land use planning in economic development.
She spoke on Wednesday during the unveiling of 8-billion program by the British Government through the UKAID urgency to support sustainable urbanization in Kenya. The five-year (2018-2022) “Sustainable Urban Economic Development” (SUED) program aims at among other things improving the investment climate and business environment reforms in Kenya.
“There is a lot that can be done with this money, it’s one and a half times the budget allocated to the Lands Ministry and with these funds we can plan our counties better to be competitive,” said CS Karoney.
She said that the Ministry has formulated the National Spatial Plan (NSP) and National Land Use Policy (NLUP) as critical policy frameworks. “The policies will provide necessary guidance to county governments in formulation of responsive County spatial plans as well as integrated Urban Development Plans.” Said the Lands CS. CS Karoney said that demands for critical infrastructure in the country were on the increase.
On his part, the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nick Hailey said that Kenya has reached a high-income status without proper urbanization. Hailey further noted that the UK funded program looks to diversify and create opportunities for the fast growing counties that have been historically marginalized in Kenya.
“The money is set to bring at par regions that have been left out, this funds seeks to aid in the proper planning and strategic placement of these counties,” said Hailey. Counties will have to register for the funds before they are taken through a selection process, only then will the 10 counties be picked before the December 10 deadline. Selected counties will be provided with urban economic planners to help develop and integrate sustainable plans to spur inclusive growth hubs to help address regulatory
constrains to the private sector. The program has four phases where the counties will be selected, then the counties will priorities their agenda followed by investments in the projects.
JOSEPH K. MWANGI
HEAD PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS UNIT