NAIROBI 3rd March 2017…lands and physical planning cabinet secretary Prof.Jacob Kaimenyi on Wednesday launched the first ever National Spatial Plan for the country at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi.
The National Spatial Plan (NSP) presents the country’s National Spatial Vision that will guide the use and management of land and land based resources and facilitates the attainment of the national policy principles of equity, productivity, efficiency and sustainability.
“The National Spatial Plan addresses key developmental challenges that the country is grappling with while recognizing the abundant and diverse resource endowment.” Said the lands CS
The high level event was graced by five other Cabinet Secretaries namely Agriculture CS, Willy Bett, Mining CS, Dan Kazungu, Defence CS, Rachel Omamo, Transport CS James Macharia and Energy CS, Charles Keter.
Prof.Kaimenyi said that NSP further recommends strategies to enhance our economic niche and mitigate negative impacts.
“Among the challenges addressed therein are: regional imbalances, unguided urbanization, massive land fragmentation and diminishing rich agricultural land, encroachment into fragile ecosystems and un-tapped and under-utilized recourses.” Said the lands CS.
“These challenges are exacerbated by sectoral approach to development programs and initiative.” He added
Prof Kaimenyi said that Kenya is experiencing rapid urbanization and by the year 2030, it is projected that 50% of the country’s population will be residing in urban areas.
The lands CS said the National Spatial Plan recognizes the fundamental role transport and infrastructure play in catalyzing the country’s development.
“Article 260 of the Constitution widens the scope of Spatial Planning to include territory, territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone and natural resources on or under the surface.” He said.
Prof.Kaimenyi said that his Ministry has prepared and presented to the Cabinet, a Draft National Land Use Policy which when enacted will complement the National Spatial Plan.
The lands CS praised the Department of Physical Planning together with other development partners for their tremendous effort in formulating the National Spatial Plan.
In his remarks, the Director of Physical Planning, Mr. Austine Masinde said that the National Spatial Plan is a strategic vision that defines the general trend and direction of spatial development for the country.
Mr Masinde said that the Constitution of Kenya mandates the National government to undertake national and regional planning, while the County governments are in charge of local and county planning.
“ Formulation of the National Spatial Plan is a among the mandates of National governments for the purpose of coordinating sectoral agencies by providing spatial expression to sector policies and guiding the preparation of regional, county and local spatial plans.” He added.
On his part, the chairman, of the Council of Governors, Mr. Peter Munya said that the NSP has indentified regions and towns of national importance, including resort cities, techno cities, special economic zones and other special feature towns, which is developed accordingly, will spur balanced growth in the country.
Mr. Munya urged his fellow Governors and Kenyans in general to embrace the NSP to harness the opportunities as well as take advantage of the emerging positive impacts towards achieving prosperous and democratic counties.
In his remarks, the chairman of the National Land Commission, Prof. Muhammad Swazuri said that the National Spatial Plan will provide a framework for monitoring physical development plans prepared at the national, regional and county levels.
“The National Spatial Plan will act as tools for enabling the National Land Commission achieve its constitutional and legal mandate of monitoring and oversight on land use planning throughout the country.” Said Prof. Swazuri.
Others present during the Launch included the Country Director of Food and Agriculture Organization, Dr Gabriel Rugalema and the Chief Executive Officer, World-Wide Fund, Kenya, Mr. Mohamed Awer.
Joseph K.Mwangi ,Head/ Public Communications.