STATE DEPARTMENT OF LAND
The Department of Land is charged with the responsibility of ensuring efficient administration and sustainable management of the land resource in the country. Its mandate is to
- Formulate and implement land policy
- Undertake physical planning
- Register land transactions
- Undertake land surveys and mapping
- Land adjudication and settlement
- Land valuation and administration of public and community land
It comprises five departments, namely:
- DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
- DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL PLANNING
- DEPARTMENT OF LAND ADJUDICATION SETTLEMENT
- DEPARTMENT OF SURVEYS
- DEPARTMENT OF LANDS
DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION AND PLANNING
The department coordinates activities of the four technical departments by providing services like, transport, procurement, accounts, human resource management among others. The Divisions and Units under this Department include;
- Human Resource Management
- Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
- Public Communications
- Supply Chain Management Unit
- General Administration
- Human Resource Development
- Land Reform Transformation Unit (LRTU)
- Central Planning and Project Monitoring Unit.
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL PLANNING
This department aims at achieving a balanced regional development over the national geographic space for the benefit and welfare of all. Key activities include;
- Preparation of regional and local physical development plans
- Feasibility studies into matters concerning physical planning and advising on matters concerning alienation of land and the most appropriate use of land such as change of user
- Extension of user
- Extension of leases
subdivision of land and amalgamation of land.
Others include conflict resolution through physical planning liaison committees.
DEPARTMENT OF LAND ADJUDICATION SETTLEMENT
The department has two divisions namely;
- Land Adjudication
Settlement division is responsible for the acquisition, planning, demarcation, survey and allocation of economically viable agricultural settlement land to landless, poor and unemployed Kenyans on loan basis
Adjudication division is responsible for ascertaining rights and interests on land in trust land areas and transformation of ownership from customary tenure to individual/group ownership through demarcation, survey and registration.
Others activities undertaken by the department include:
- Management of group ranches
- Arbitration of land disputes
- Purchase of land for settlement of landless Kenyans
- Survey and demarcation of settlement scheme plots
- Incorporation of group representatives through Group Representatives Act
- Hearing and determination of land disputes in adjudication sections
- Issuance of letters of offer and legal documents and collection of land loans
- issuance of discharges and transfer documents
DEPARTMENT OF SURVEY
This department implements the Government’s policy of sustainable exploitation of land and its natural resources. It is composed of five divisions namely;
- Geodetic and Geographical Information System (GIS)
- Land Adjudication
The functions of the department include;
- Etablishing and maintaining a national geodetic control network that covers the whole country to facilitate other surveys and research.
- to produce and maintain plans of property boundaries in support of land registration and to ensure guarantee and security of land tenure.
- to produce and continuously update national topographical basic maps for the whole country at various scales for development planning and for production of other maps. Other functions are; to inspect and maintain national and international boundaries.
- to prepare and publish the National Atlas of Kenya, as a documentation of National Heritage and promotion of Nation’s identity.
It is also tasked with carrying out hydrographic surveys for safe navigation, exploration and exploitation of natural resources of rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, calibrating and maintaining survey equipment in order to ensure correct measurements, providing quality control and assurance of geographical data produced by other organizations and establishing and maintaining National Spatial Data Infrastructure (N.S.D.I). These functions are carried out within the provisions of the Survey Act (Cap 299) of the Laws of Kenya.
DEPARTMENT OF LANDS
The main function of this department to administer both public and community land on behalf of the county governments. It has three divisions namely;
- Land Administration
- Land Registration
Land Administration Division
This division is charged with the responsibility of establishing and managing land control boards, processing and approval of development applications e.g. issuance of consents to charge, lease or transfer, alienation of land for development to public institutions and individuals. Other functions are; processing of ownership documents such as titles/grants for both public and community, setting apart land for public use, generation and collation of revenue and Appropriation-in- Aid (A.I.A.), custody and maintenance of land records, recording and updating and recording of plot attributes on files and cards, documentation of public land and preservation of fragile ecosystems, Historical monument sites, public beaches, marine reserves, national parks, wet lands and water catchment areas for purposes of conservation.
Land Valuation Division
This division is responsible for valuation of land and landed properties for various purposes. It provides professional valuation services to the government, parastatals and counties. Common types of valuation carried out in the division include, valuation for stamp duty, for subdivision (rent apportionment), lease extension, change of user and extension of user, alienation, rating, compulsory acquisition, loose assets, government purchase, sale and leasing.
Land Registration division
Land registration division is responsible for issuance of title deeds under various registration regimes, receiving and registration of documents under the various acts, attending and resolving land disputes. The division also safeguards and maintains custody for land records and documents, conducts searches for members of public, institutions and firms, advising members of public, institutions and firms, on land matters particularly on the legal implications of various land transactions.
The Departments of Lands also has the following sections:
Records Section – This section keeps the records of registered and unregistered land in the country. There are currently over one million eight hundred thousand correspondence files maintained by the Section and still growing mainly due to subdivision of large farms.
Land Rent Section – This section is the custodian of all government leasehold and land rent records. Rent assessment is done by the office and payment made to the Commissioner of Domestic taxes through intermediaries (Kenya Commercial Bank, National Bank and Cooperative Bank) on prescribed forms which show details such as parcel number, owner’s name, address, personal identification number and the amount of rent payable per annum.
Plan Records Office – This section is charged with the responsibility of custody, updating and maintenance of survey plans, part development plans, boundary plans, cadastral maps, topographical and topo-cadastral maps and property cards.