Taita Taveta County Government and development stakeholders have been urged to collaborate and draft strategies that would see the establishment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) Laboratory in the county to facilitate informed decision-making.
These sentiments arose during a 4-day training session of County surveyors, planners, agricultural officers and other technical personnel by the United States Agency for International Development Resilience Learning Activity (USAID-RLA) programme.
The goal is to support resilience capacities of local governments to undertake analysis through evidence-based resilience programming.
Speaking during the training, USAID Technical Lead Richard Kyalo pointed out the lack of a technical hub in the region was limiting utilisation of information systems and remote sensing.
He called upon various stakeholders to consider establishment of such a centre in the County.
“This will be useful in the collection and utilisation of GIS datasets in the County and offer support to various projects and implementation partners working here,” he said.
He also called for establishment of an Integrated Information Management System which incorporates geoportals to support the County Government in the storage and retrieval of geospatial data sets.
He said this would be useful in utilisation of the available information and the ones collected for future decision-making.
“This is a very useful process when it comes to an integrated central database for information security and for future data utilisation,” he added.
With most of Taita Taveta being listed as semi-arid, water availability for irrigation purposes for instance, is vital for crop production in the region. It needs to be properly and efficiently managed for proper utilization through systems like the GIS and Remote Sensing.
Kyalo acknowledged that Data Intelligence Systems were one of the decision-making tools that could be used to enhance agricultural productivity through mapping of unique agricultural clusters that would enable the County administration to be certain on where to invest the available resources when it comes to agriculture.
Furthermore, a sustainable utilisation of the systems could be impactful when it comes to monitoring and evaluation so as to have a basic understanding of the administration’s progress and prioritisation during planning and budget processes, he noted.
Taita Taveta County Executive Committee Member for Finance Andrew Kubo said that the process would ease evaluation of financial trends in the County.
“When we submit our quarterly reports, all the data records will be in place so that we can easily assess the stagnating or the declining financial trends hence be able to review the performance and the strategies that are in place,” he said.
USAID defines resilience as the ability to recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and facilitates inclusive growth. Through GIS Systems, administrations could be able to map and analyse future events. This will increase their resilience capacity enabling them to plan accordingly and ultimately attain economic growth.