The Lands and Planning Sector Board held its last meeting on the year on 14th December 2017. The main agenda was to apprise members on the engagement with the County Executive Committees (CECs) at their induction meeting and discuss how the sector board will engage the counties moving forward noting their indelible role on lands and physical planning issues.
The Council of Governors (CoG) held the CECs induction forum on 11th December 2017 where the KEPSA sector chairs got an opportunity to address the sector committees on pertinent county issues and discuss areas of collaboration. The Lands and Physical Planning sector board was represented by both the Chair Mr. Gikonyo Gitonga and Vice Chair Mr. Eric Nyandimo. According to the chair, the engagement with CECs was an eye opener to issues in the counties and it presented a great forum to discuss the various projects in the counties and opportunities for collaboration. The CECs on their part expressed interest to continue engaging with the sector board to ensure implementation of the required land reforms for economic development in the county.
A key agenda item discussed was the County Spatial Plans noting that the National Spatial Plan (NSP) was launched on March 2017 by the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning and provides a great roadmap for counties to develop and implement well thought out county spatial plans. This will stem ad hoc development and provide more clarity for citizens on zoning and land use
Approximately about five counties have finalized their County Spatial Plans (CSP). Members noted that due to the importance of the CSPs to economic development at the county level, the sector board agreed to develop guidelines for the Terms of Reference to ensure the most qualified consultants were engaged in the process. Of key concern is the need to separate the mapping and planning roles to have both surveyors and planners involved in CSP development as experts in these areas. The guidelines would then be proposed to the CoG for their approval.
Proper planning will not only ensure proper budgetary allocation to the important projects but it will also increase counties’ revenue collection. The sector board proposed advocating for increased budget allocation to the planning role through the various county budget committees. It was also noted that engaging at both levels of government will ensure that both levels work as complements rather than competitors for economic growth.
The sector board chair thanked the members and KEPSA secretariat for the continued support in the year 2017. He reiterated that there has been advocacy challenges this year, noting the prolonged period of elections. He concluded by requesting members to continue working as a team since the sector board has many issues to handle next year with both levels of government.