LDGI organized a forum to engage the Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly with the main aim of enhancing the members' capacity on land administration and management at county level to improve their decision making, service delivery, compliance with the Constitution of Kenya and the land laws and sustainable oversight and management practices. The forum was also an opportunity for the Institutte to mainstream the land and natural resource management agenda for Tharaka-Nithi County and further overview a draft Planning Bill developed on their behalf to initiate the process of enacting a law that will guide planning at County level. The forum took place from 19th to 22nd January 2015 at Maanzoni Lodge, Machakos.
Remarks were made from both the LDGI team and the County Assembly leadership, with LDGI Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Mwathane pointing out to the County Assembly members that they have a responsibility to ensure sustainable management of land as a resource and proper service delivery through their oversight function as an assembly at county level. The Assembly's majority leader, Hon. Wilson Nyaga called upon fellow members to leave a legacy of proper land and natural resource management under their tenure as a foundation for future assemblies. The Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly Speaker, Hon. John Mbabu and Planning Committee Chair,Hon. Albano MugambiKiania further echoed these sentiments before the speaker officially opening the forum.
The County Assembly members were taken through a presentation on the Centrality of Land to County Development & Management of Urban Areas by LDGI Executive Director, Mr. MwendaMakathimo during which the ED urged members to regulate land administration and management services within the county as well as push for employment of new technology in the same. Makathimo further called upon the members to get involved in the ongoing development of the Community Land Bill, and work closely with County Land Management Boards so as to monitor how they execute their mandate at county level.LDGI Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Mwathane presented on the Context and Institutional Framework of land administration and management at county level and urged the members to use their powers in ensuring institutions perform their duties accordingly. During the first plenary session, members sought clarity on the role of chiefs in land allocation and the assembly's powers with regard to road reserves and riparian reserves.
On the second day the Tharaka-Nithi County Assembly Planning Committee Chairman, Hon. Albano Mugambi Kiania called upon members' support of the planning agenda to ensure sustainable development and increase sources of county revenue. LDGI Board Member, Prof. JohnstoneKiamba presentation on Land Use Planning and the Environment during which he advocated for the assembly to engage experts in all matters regarding land management, including planning. In the second session of the day, LDGI resource person, Mr. Earnest Kimaita took members through a draft planning bill developed by himself in consultation with the Institute. The Institute will continue working with the assembly on proposed changes for the bill to develop a final draft which can be introduced to the floor of the house for enactment into law. This law will guide planning processes for Tharaka-Nithi County to ensure sustainable development on land.
In closing, LDGI Chairman Mr. Ibrahim Mwathane urged the assembly to engage the Institute whenever necessary to assist in the processes of land administration and management issues at county level.