Technology Transforms The Land Sector

The National Land Commission (NLC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, has made significant strides in digitising land records and creating robust land information systems.

NLC Chairman Gershom Otachi said that one of their flagship initiatives, an integrated Land Management Information System (LMIS), is a one-stop portal for all land-related services, including critical data on land ownership, usage, registration, valuation, and dispute resolution, that not only makes it easier for citizens to access land services but also improves coordination among different government agencies involved in land management.

Otachi, speaking at the Kenya School of Government (KSG) Kabete on Wednesday during the official opening of the 3rd Regional Research Conference themed ‘Data, Innovation, and Technology for Land Governance,’ said that the digitization of land records and services is and will be a key priority for the National Land Commission.

‘Innovation is the driving force behind chan
ge and improvement in land governance. The world is adopting innovative approaches that streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve service delivery,’ highlighted the chairman.

Otachi said that blockchain technology is one of the innovations being used to enhance land registration and title management, explaining that it offers a secure and transparent way to record land transactions, reducing the risk of fraud and disputes.

‘By piloting blockchain projects in land registration, we can build trust in our land administration systems and protect the rights of landowners,’ he said.

The chairman explained that remote sensing and drone technology are being leveraged for land surveying, monitoring, and data collection. These technologies provide high-resolution imagery and real-time data, essential for accurate land assessment and management.

‘Data collection is only the first step. We must also ensure that this data is accessible and usable by all stakeholders, from government agencies and private sector p
artners to local communities and individual citizens. This requires investment in data infrastructure, capacity building, and policies that promote open data and information sharing,’ said Otachi.

NLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kabale Tache said that Article 67(2)(d) of the Constitution of Kenya and the National Land Commission (NLC) Act 2012, Section 5(1)(d), mandates the NLC to undertake research related to land and the use of natural resources, and make recommendations to the appropriate authorities.

‘It is on this basis that we are holding this conference, this being the third edition in a series of research conferences the Commission has organised since 2021,’ she explained.

Ms. Tache said that in today’s rapidly evolving world, the management and governance of land have become increasingly complex, requiring them to embrace new technologies to ensure sustainable and equitable land use.

‘The use of data, innovation, and technology has the potential to revolutionise how we manage and govern land, m
aking processes more efficient, transparent, and inclusive,’ said Ms. Tache.

She continued: ‘As we embrace these advancements, we must also be mindful of the challenges that come with them. Data privacy, security, and accessibility are crucial considerations that must be addressed to ensure that the benefits of data innovation and technology are equitably distributed among all stakeholders.’

She called for collaboration from all stakeholders, asking them to keep in mind the importance of their work and the impact it can have on the lives of people around the world.

‘Together, we have the opportunity to shape a more sustainable future for land governance, and I am confident that our collective efforts will lead to meaningful and lasting change,’ said Ms. Tache.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Geologists To Conduct Seismic Assessment In Murang’a Landslide-Prone Areas

The Ministry of Mining and Blue Economy has deployed geologists to conduct a seismic assessment to landslide-prone areas within Murang’a County.

Already, a team of senior geologists has commenced the assessment in parts of Kangema Sub County where earth faults have been witnessed.

Mining Principal Secretary Elijiah Mwangi said on Wednesday that the assessment will help in making well-informed decisions on the utilisation of the land, which has been prone to landslides.

He noted that the geologists were deployed following a request by the Murang’a County Government to develop a long-term technical report after the assessment that will help prevent deaths and destruction of property occasioned by landslides.

In many parts of the upper zones of the county, the PS said they were affected by land and mudslides during the recent rains, leaving a trail of destruction.

‘A team of senior geologists is already doing the seismic assessment at parts of Kangema. More geologists will be deployed to carry out the asses
sment in parts of Kahuro, Mathioya, Kigumo, and Gatanga that have been experiencing landslides during rainy seasons.

‘Their report will guide the government in making decisions on the utilisation of land. We will be in a position to decide whether to relocate people from the areas and utilise the land by either planting trees or for other purposes,’ added Mwangi.

Early on, a landslide hit Kiganjo village in Mathioya, killing six people and displacing more than 30 families.

‘After the assessment, people who will be found living in risky areas, will be relocated. This is to ensure the safety of our people,’ added the PS.

Meanwhile, Mwangi said his ministry is working in partnership with the local county government to invest in the value addition of local soils used to manufacture tiles.

‘Murang’a has a kaolin type of soil. This soil is the raw material for tiles and is currently being mined, transported to other areas of the country, and even exported. We have asked the county government to get us a piece
of land where we can bring investors and set up a tile manufacturing plant,’ Mwangi said.

‘Manufacturing the tiles locally will boost the economy of Murang’a and also provide employment opportunities to local youth. The kaolin soil is available in Gaturi and Mugoiri wards, and it can also be accessed from neighbouring counties.’

The Ministry, he noted, has launched the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), targeting individuals who are mining in the country but do not have a license.

He said they are getting grassroots to have all artisanal miners registered and issued with mining licenses.

‘The RRI is also to ensure anyone mining, buying, processing, or doing other business with minerals is fully registered to do away with illegal mining. This is to streamline the sector and ensure all miners are in cooperatives to benefit from government incentives, among other forms of support.

‘I urge local artisanal miners, especially those who mine construction stones, to join cooperative societies. By doing so, they can
apply for financial support from various government funds,’ PS Mwangi added.

Source: Kenya News Agency

CS Malonza Leads Dissemination MTP IV In Taita Taveta

The East African Community, the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), and Regional Development Cabinet Secretary Penina Malonza has led the dissemination forum for the Kenya Vision 2030 Fourth Medium Term Plan (MTP IV) 2023-2027 in Taita Taveta County.

The public engagement, attended by national and county government officials, youth leaders, civil society, religious leaders, and residents of Taita Taveta County, outlined the MTP IV programmes to be implemented in line with the government’s Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA).

Speaking in Voi, Malonza noted that it is the first time the government is involving residents in the dissemination of the Medium Term Plan, adding that a lot has been done in the three previous MTPs in various sectors such as roads, hospitals, and education.

The CS noted that MTP IV takes into consideration the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP) to ensure synchronisation that will ensure the smooth running of different ministries for the benefit of the citizens.

‘We
are synchronising all these plans so that we can have a very firm and very rich Fourth-Term Medium plan,’ said the CS.

She noted that the MTP IV plan has taken into consideration the well-being of every ministry in terms of the projections the country has for the next four years.

At the same time, the CS noted that an economic turnaround will be achieved through targeted investments across the five BETA pillars of Housing and Settlement, Agriculture, Healthcare, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy.

In her capacity, the CS stated that the country is widening and deepening her relations with the East African Community through integration between the eight member states.

She noted that plans are underway to open up the central corridor to enable the free movement of trucks from Kenya to Tanzania.

‘Taita Taveta borders the United Republic of Tanzania, and of course we have the central corridor that we are really working on, actually between Uriri and Boba to
wn in Tanzania. There is a black spot there that we have not interfaced in terms of the digital tracking system, and that is what we are working on. Soon, we are going to open up this corridor so that we can have trucks from here to Tanzania,’ said Malonza.

Malonza added that the country is also working to open up an even wider market that will enable the trucks to move from Kenya through to the DRC and Central Africa.

‘We are working on our relationship with Tanzania. You know the port of Mombasa is serving the central part of Central Africa, and so we are working on the tracking system so that we can open up that corridor so that we can see trucks all the way to the DRC and Central Africa,’ she said.

She further noted that Kenya has maintained a good relationship with the East African Community countries that has facilitated cross-border activities, which will be further enhanced by the opening up of the central corridor.

Source: Kenya News Agency

New Facility To Equip Prisoners With Technical Skills

An over Sh8 million state-of-the-art resource centre has been launched at Nanyuki GK Prison with the aim of equipping prisoners with technical skills.

The facility, named after Fr. Peter Meienberg, a priest, was constructed by the Faraja Foundation associated with him and is equipped with a barber shop, computer lab, counselling centre, knitting and tailoring section, among others, to ensure inmates serving their jail term gain useful skills that will help them generate income once they complete their sentences.

Principal Secretary State Department for Correctional Services, Dr. Salome Beacco, speaking at Nanyuki GK Prison in Laikipia County during the official launch on Wednesday, said the resource centre was a great boost to the government’s rehabilitation efforts to the offenders.

‘I wish to thank the Faraja Foundation for this great initiative that perfectly complements our programmes at the correctional services. I have no doubt whatsoever that this rehabilitative initiative will certainly help many p
eople get back on their feet and eventually become resourceful members of society,’ said Dr. Beacco.

The facility, which was completed in a span of eight months, Dr. Beacco noted, was an indelible mark in the correctional services and at the same time called for more partnership from stakeholders in supporting offenders’ reform and reintegration back into the community.

‘I call upon each one of us to challenge ourselves in the commitment of quality service delivery and support the government’s agenda and position in ensuring that the vulnerable members of our society have access to social justice,’ she urged.

The Commissioner General of Prisons, Brig. (Rtd.) John K. Warioba, said that the facility was in line with government initiatives to rehabilitate convicts.

‘Any inmate can participate in making items that can be sold to benefit financially, and the centre will be run by inmates themselves with support from the officer in charge. This bold initiative represents a significant stride in our core mandate
of rehabilitation and social reintegration of prisoners back into society,’ said Brig. (Rtd.) Warioba.

Faraja Foundation Chairperson Dr. David Bett called for more partnership from the county governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate prisoners, which he pointed out was a major challenge.

Source: Kenya News Agency

State, WEEE Collaborate On E-Waste Management

The government, in partnership with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), is conducting education forums for government officers on electronic waste (e-waste) management.

Under the partnership, which is being spearheaded by the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), public officers will now be able to surrender their obsolete office equipment for refurbishment to the authority and ensure such items can be put in use again.

The WEEE directive is a legislative act that the European Union adopted to address the growing amounts of e-waste that come from electrical and electronic gadgets.

Dubbed the National Refurbishment, Assembly, and E-waste Management Programme, ICTA intends to employ civil servants as the first line of defence in sensitising the public on the proper management of e-waste as a response to the ever-growing threat emanating from their unregulated disposal.

Mr. Kioko Mutunga, an ICTA project Manager, says the Government has so far collected 15,000 pieces of obs
olete electronic equipment from across the country, which are currently undergoing refurbishment, with the number expected to grow in the coming months.

‘Government officers have obsolete equipment that they do not find the right way to dispose of on our Kenyan market. These devices end up filling stores, and even when disposal comes into play, people are not able to purchase them. We want to sensitise civil servants who will become our ambassadors on how we can save our environment and ensure there is safe handling from the point of buying up to the point we dispose of them safely,’ he told KNA yesterday during a one-day sensitisation workshop for government officers in Nyeri.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) puts Africa’s annual e-waste generation at a staggering 2.9 MT, which accounts for at least one per cent of all global waste.

In Kenya, at least 17,000 metric tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2017, with this figure totaling to 127,000 metric tonnes by last year.

And with the e
ntry of electrical and electronic gadgets expected to maintain a steady projectile in the country, Kenya’s annual e-waste is expected to hit an average of 51,3000 metric tonnes in the coming years.

On top of the table are household equipment such as refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, televisions, radios, computers, and cell phones.

Given that the information and technology revolution has exponentially increased the use of new electronic equipment, it has also produced growing volumes of obsolete products, making e-waste one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally.

‘We must not necessarily take them (electrical and electronic wastes) to where we collect them, but the government has very many institutions where we are going to distribute this functioning equipment. We have learning institutions, digital institutions that require them, and even government institutions that require them,’ explained the official.

Mutunga says once the first phase of collecting the devices is complete, they will
then embark on the second phase, which will entail the establishment of collection centres for e-waste across the country.

On her part, Nancy Ng’ethe, who is a WEEE officer, underscored the need for Kenyans to understand the vital link between e-waste management and environmental conservation.

She noted that with the growing consumer appetite for high-end gadgets such as smartphones and household electronic items, the majority of which have a short lifespan, there is a need to come up with mechanisms that will address how such products can be disposed of without endangering both humans and the ecosystem.

‘Our key role is to create awareness around e-waste to make sure that everybody, from the corporate to the informal sector, is aware of what e-waste is and the dangers of not disposing of it properly. The government has been very supportive, and we now have rules and regulations around how e-waste management should be governed, which was not the case around 12 years ago,’ she said.

Kenya’s e-waste managem
ent and disposal is anchored under Article 42 of the Constitution, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act Section 165(2), together with the National ICT Policy 2019 and the Environmental Management and Conduct Act (Revised 2015).

But Ng’ethe is advising those intending to dispose of their old electronic equipment to ascertain that the items are totally unserviceable and therefore not worth storage.

She says any electronic gadget must either fall under the repair, reuse, or refurbishment category and can only be recycled if it fails to fit in either of the three.

‘Before you get to the recycle bit, you must ensure that your e-waste cannot be reused anymore. So, if you think you have an item that is no longer needed, you can look for a second person who can use it,’ she told KNA.

‘Recycling is basically saying this device has reached the end of life, and therefore the only remaining thing is to dismantle the item and then get the different partitions, either as glass, plastic, scrap, or the motherboard, wh
ich can thereafter be used in another way,’ she added.

If improperly disposed of, e-waste like old computers, mobile phones, or kitchen appliances poses environmental and health risks from exposure to lead, mercury, and other toxic materials.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Firearm Recovered In Trans Mara South

Police in Trans Mara South Sub County, Narok County have recovered an illegal firearm, AK 47 rifle that was loaded with a magazine with 18 rounds in the Geturo area.

Narok County Police Commander Riko Ngare said the police were acting on a tip-off from the residents when they raided the home of Isaiya Langat Kipkemoi and recovered the gun.

At the time of recovery, Kipkemoi was at his home with his friend Dennis Kipkoech and the two were arrested and escorted to Lolgorian Police station awaiting to be arraigned in court.

The commander thanked the residents for volunteering such important information and asked them to continue giving information of suspected criminals amongst them so that they can be arrested.

Early this year, the government deployed a contingent of security teams to the volatile border of Trans Mara South and Kuria so as to deal with inter-community clashes after several people were injured and property destroyed in clashes.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kenya Benefits From Land Digitalisation

Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome has said that the country is reaping massive benefits of digitalization in the land sector.

CS Wahome said that the digitalization of land records and automation of land administration and management processes that have been going on in Nairobi and Murang’a have already greatly benefited the country.

‘Digitalization has helped us in embracing improved ease of doing business, increased accessibility of land services, and enhanced transparency in day-to-day land transactions,’ Wahome said in a speech read on her behalf by Acting Secretary of Lands, Sarah Maina, during the opening of the third regional research conference on land and natural resources.

Speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi, she noted that, like other nations and agencies, Kenya is also fast moving away from old methods of doing business by embracing data innovation and technology, which are vital elements in efficient governance and management o
f different sectors, including the land governance sector.

The CS noted that the introduction of the National Land Information System (NLIMS) to address land management records that were held in paper form and managed manually for a long time has proven very successful and timely.

Wahome added that inefficient and time-consuming old management could not support timely decision making in the land governance sector.

She said that NLIMS, dubbed the ‘Ardhisasa’ system, has made land transactions more convenient and reduced time-consuming physical visits, especially to land offices.

The official said that land transactions that were handled through paper forms and files have today turned into e-systems, while physical visits to land offices have been reduced as services are delivered at the touch of a button from somewhere else.

She said that Kenya is committed to making land information available in a language that can be understood by populations.

Wahome noted that land claimed by minority groups, pastoral
communities, disputed land, and land identified to have been irregularly allocated is being accurately classified and mapped in the land information system to reduce conflicts.

She said that Kenya plans to establish a comprehensive, computer-based, user-friendly, accessible, affordable, transparent, and gender-sensitive land information management system.

Wahome revealed that Kenya is currently developing national guidelines on land information to govern matters on land information standards, security, dissemination, and pricing.

The Ministry of Lands, she said, has gone cashless by embracing FinTech in the collection of revenue, which has replaced conventional cash payments with Mpesa mobile money payment services.

Mr. Gershom Otachi, Chairman of the National Land Commission (NLC), noted that Kenya, like other nations, endeavours to harness the transformative power of data, innovation, and technology in solving multifaceted challenges in land governance.

Mr. Otachi said that data and technology tools ar
e not only essential for modernising land governance systems but also for ensuring transparency, accountability, and inclusivity by addressing matters to do with land tenure security, land use planning, environmental sustainability, and equitable resource distribution.

He added that Kenya is adopting the use of block chain technology, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and drone technology to enhance land registration, title management, create detailed and interactive maps, and provide high-resolution imagery and real-time data.

Source: Kenya News Agency