Planning the Pastoral lands in Kenya: Launch for the Future of Land Use Planning to Pastoral Communities

Peter Ken Otieno, Technical Coordinator, Rangelands Initiative Africa/RECONCILE and Angela Nyanchama, Legal/Policy Research & Advocacy Officer at RECONCILE

Kenya identifies pastoralism as an important element for the growth of its economy. In its 2010 Constitution, it emphasizes that land use planning in pastoral areas is key in sustaining livestock in the Kenyan economy.

This has led to increased interests in Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) across the country. However, there are no guidelines put in place to address this issue.

On 23rd August 2019, over 200 participants across Kenya gathered at the Panafric Hotel-Nairobi to launch an Annex to the County Spatial Planning (CSP) toolkit: Monitoring and Oversight Guidelines and Associated Toolkits which are fundamental tools for the County Government planning of pastoral land.

The event was presided by Ambassador Hussein Dado, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Devolution and ASAL. Participants included representatives from the Executive and County Assemblies from over 14 ASAL counties, national government agencies, development partners, planning professional organizations, and Planning Schools.

The development of the toolkit is a perfect example of how partners and donors can work together. While Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO Kenya), International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), National Land Commission (NLC) and Resource Conflict Institute (RECONCILE) provided technical support, the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Land Coalition (ILC) under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) through different projects funded the initiative.

These toolkits are expected to provide Kenya with a handy reference for the County Governments in pastoral areas which covers around 80% of Kenya with 23 ASAL counties: 9 arid and 14 Semi-Arid. The toolkits shall contribute to delivering a response to unique situations pertaining to pastoral areas in the County spatial planning process.

“This Launch of the County Spatial Planning Annex and the toolkits for County Spatial Planning to the pastoral areas is very timely. The Country has made significant strides in policies and laws aimed at securing Community Land and Natural Resources. We recognize, however, that these gains can only be sustained through participatory and community-driven land and resource use planning. The toolkit recognizes among other steps research and scenario building, which holds the key to the future of rangelands and pastoralism, ” said Cabinet Sec. Ministry of Devolution and ASAL Hon. Eugene Wamalwa.