Marsabit County occupies about16 percent of Kenya’s total land mass covering an area of 75,691 square kilometers, making it inarguably the largest and most expansive County in Kenya. Most of this land falls under arid and semi-arid climatic conditions and thus it has remained virgin for many years and it’s communally owned.
Since the year 2013 the department of Energy, Land, and Housing and Urban Development has been working hard to facilitate sustainable land use through a holistic land policy for the betterment of life of residents in Marsabit County. This department aims to ensure that 75% of the residents have got access to land, affordable housing, and a cheap and quality energy source by the year 2020.
On land and housing, this department is actively encouraging private ownership of land in order to attract investors through modern technology registration. This docket has further reviewed the county land management policy, Physical planning, Land transaction, Survey and mapping, Land adjudication and Settlement matters, and rural settlement planning in order to enhance cohesion among communities.
Land demarcation and adjudication
Someof the major achievements in land sector include the demarcation of Jirime section where 1650 plots in 2093 hectares now have certificates. The adjudication of sections Songa / Kituruni/Leyai, and demarcation has also been completed. During the 2014/2015 financial year three adjudication sections were opened and demarcation/survey done with the view of having the private, public and community interests registered. The areas targeted in the adjudication sections are Karare ,Huri Hills and Hula Hula in Saku. Other four adjudication sections were also identified for declaration and their proposals submitted to the County Assembly for Approval. They include Odha, Anona, and Uran in Moyale Constituency.
The Lands department further encourages public participation in the management, protection and conservation of the environment through proper utilization of natural resources for the benefit of the people of Kenya.
The department undertook mapping and generated statistics for proper planning and development. In the year 2013 the lands department embarked on planning of the main urban centers in the County. They include Laisamis, Dukana, Korr, Manyatta, Butiye, North Horr, Turbi, Logologo, Maikona, Loiyangalani and Sololo.
Through the Kenya Gazette legal notice no. 2931, County government of Marsabit is listed as a Land registration unit. This ensures easy access to land administration and registration services. In 2013-14 the lands department also purchased modern surveying equipment which is now being utilized to effectively upgrade the surveying and planning processes in Marsabit County.
Other major achievements
In a bid to solve land wrangles caused by poor documentation on community settlements and the designated national reserves, the lands department together with other stakeholders commissioned a survey &mapping on Marsabit National reserve and Forest reserve. The survey gave details on the mapping done on the settlement of gazette areas of Marsabit National Reserve including the location of the settlements and approximate size of the area. The subject areas that were affected include Karare, Parkishon, Gof, Bongole, Segel and Laisamis.
The County Government of Marsabit also liaised with the National Government through Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service and initiated an exercise to demarcate the gazette National Park/Reserve and Forest land focusing on the settlement areas with the ultimate goal being separation of the settlement areas and eventual registration of land owning rights.
The department of land has further forged partnerships with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and European Union to jointly promote good governance in the land sector with the later showing a great interest in supporting land use, planning, modern land registry through capacity building.
In energy and urban development, the department is hosting one of the leading projects in Kenya, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project that aims to provide 300 megawatts (MW) of reliable, low-cost wind power. The wind power project will cost Sh76 billion, making it one of the biggest projects to have ever been undertaken by the private sector in partnership with a county in Kenya. Once completed the 300 megawatts (MW) generated will help reduce power outages not only in Marsabit County but also in other parts of Kenya.
In a bid to conserve the environment, the energy department procured 2000 energy saving jikos for households in Maikona, Forolle and Huri Hills in order to reduce land degradation through deforestation, which in turn increases drought and famine incidences. This department has also been sensitizing the local communities on biogas technology and Solar PV where they are educated on how it works and the benefits of using the technology. All these efforts are channeled towards boosting a green economy in Marsabit County