Article: Land ministry staff need specialised training – Washe Kazungu

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[Source: Business Daily, by Washe Kazungu]

The land sector in Kenya is set to go through a transformative period as we embark on registering more than two-thirds of the country’s resource as community land.

This activity will require skilled personnel who will not only have to ensure accuracy, efficiency, and timeliness but must also remain aware of the dynamics of community land ownership and management as they do so.

The exercise of registering community land won’t be an easy one. The work to be done will include registering large tracts of land under individual titles. Land being an emotive subject for Kenyans, more so in the rural setting where the communities derive their livelihoods directly from land-based resources, the officers to undertake this will require preparation beyond their technical training on how to work with communities.

Large-scale land acquisition for development and infrastructure projects, and for oil exploration and mining has been happening on community land more than on private and public land. The officers who will be interacting with communities to register their land to be able to navigate these issues.

The ministry should look into setting up a specialised course for its officers who will be working with counties and the public to document community land.

Kenya School of Government’s experience in training public officers would best inform how the schedule of officers to be trained can be coordinated.

Additionally, the ministry could benefit from partnering with civil society, inter-governmental agencies and international non-profit organisations. These organisations have years and in some cases decades worth of valuable experiences and best practices when working with communities to secure their land.

The EU-FAO Kenya Land Governance Programme is one such programme that’s working with select counties to support the attainment of vision 2030 through devolved land reforms in community land.

If the ministry can have personnel seconded from counties to undergo this training, the likelihood of community land registration happening in a timely manner would increase.

The writer is a land and natural resource management specialist.

[Full article on: Washe Kazungu on LinkedIn]


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