Counties

Counties claim defunct local authorities’ land

Residents queue at the Mombasa County Offices to pay their land rate bills. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG
Residents queue at the Mombasa County Offices to pay their land rate bills. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG  

Counties have moved in to reclaim the billions of shillings worth of land owned by the defunct local authorities in a move they said is aimed at saving the regional governments from losses.

This follows an agreement between the county land and urban planning ministers and the Communications Authority of Kenya to map and digitise the parcels of lands and buildings in the counties.

Dubbed the National Addressing System, the policy provides for, among other things, naming and numbering of streets, properties, parcels of land and or buildings to facilitate the identification and location of a parcel or dwelling on the ground.

In a statement yesterday, the Council of Governors secretariat said the process will also involve the development of digitized maps for use in the management of settlements and urban communities.

“The maps with the information thereon can be developed into Geographical Information System (GIS) as a database. NAS will ensure there is consistency and conformity of addresses across all counties,” said the statement.

The agreement comes in the wake of plans by the devolved units to register assets and liabilities belonging to defunct local authorities.

The 47 devolved units have until June 20, this year to validate, verify and transfer all the assets belonging to the defunct authorities based on, but not limited, to the exit report by the Transitional Authority (TA).

Already, the Auditor General, Transition Authority and its successor, the Intergovernmental Technical Relations Committee, have warned that part of the Sh143 billion property counties inherited from defunct local authorities in 2013 has been stolen.

This is due to the lack of an inventory of assets and liabilities on the status of the Sh143billion worth of property.

County land and urban planning ministers caucus secretary Sarah Masaki said the NAS will also be used to develop spatial plans and zoning as well as controlling development in the counties.