The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Monday listed major achievements by the Government in transforming the management of land in Kenya, including the flagship project of issuing 3 million title deeds.
The ministry has presented an impressive scorecard on its mandate to ensure efficient and sustainable management of Kenya’s land resource through policy directions.
Lands Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi was the centre of attention at the State House Land Summit, which was beamed live on television and relayed on radio and social media, as he told Kenyans how his has moved with speed to restore trust in Kenya’s land titling system.
In measuring the government’s achievement in the land sector, Prof Kaimenyi said the ministry has boosted the registration and issuance of title deeds from a total of 5.6 million since independence (from 1963 to June 2013 averaging to 112,000 per year) by adding a further 2.4 million in 2013/2014 to the first quarter of 2016/2017 (800,000 per year).
The ministry in collaboration with National Land Commission has also launched the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS), said the CS.
The NLIMS will be the custodian of digitized data on land in the country to enhance efficiency in serving the public.
Instead of lining up at the ministry to obtain information, any member of the public including land buyers, agents or public body will just visit the website of the NLIMS and obtain information relating to any piece of land.
The ministry has also initiated the digitization of 13 land registries that has seen the automation of land registration transactions.
The process will reduce possibility of lose or tampering with land data and it will reduce the time it takes for a land transaction to be completed.
“The process of digitizing other 12 out of 57 land registries is at 79 percent. The 12 registries will be finalised by December, 2016,” said the CS.
The CS said the ministry has been implementing land reforms geared towards equitable access and use of land resource.
“The land question has been shaped by economic, political, social and legal parameters,” said Prof Kaimenyi.
In fast tracking the issuance of titles, the CS said the Government has temporarily waived land adjudication and survey fees, registration charges totaling Sh5.85 billion for 3 million title deeds, fees for processing title deeds.
He said the Jubilee Government was on course to surpass the target of issuing 3 million title deeds.
Prof Kaimenyi said the accelerated registration will improve livelihoods of Kenyans.
The CS also spoke on the Government’s achievement in the development of geospatial data with the construction of the National Geospatial Data Centre at a cost of Sh800 million.
The CS also cited how the Jubilee Government has done more in surveying and maintenance of Kenya’s National and International Borders as compared to all the achievements of all previous governments combined.
From 1963 to 2012 successive government had accomplished surveying and mapping 1,031 km along Kenya-Ethiopia border averaging 21 km per year.
Since coming into office, the Jubilee Government has overseen the survey and reaffirmation of 290km along Kenya and Uganda (44km), Ethiopia (110km), Tanzania (30km) and Somalia (106km). This averages 96km per year.
After the presentation by the CS, the Summit discussed various issues touching on land including the efforts the government has undertaken to protect riparian land, the resettlement of squatters, and revocation of titles and repossession of public land.
To address the issue of squatters, the ministry is in the process of commissioning a field and desktop study of the status of squatters in the country and a concept paper on the study was finalized on November 11.
“It is expected that this study will provide insights on the squatter issue and provide data upon which various squatter resettlement programmes will be based,” said the CS.
The National Land Commission also used the State House Land Summit to present a scorecard on its performance including devolving its services to all the 47 counties.
The NLC is also busy working on a project to ensure all schools are issued with title deeds. The commission has so far received 7600 application for titles for schools out of the 29,000 schools nationwide, out of which 762 have been completed.
The Summit was attended by senior Government officials, dignitaries from Kenya’s private sector, parliamentary committees on land and civil society groups among others.