County Governments to Use Technology in Curbing Illegal Buildings
Kenya’s county governments have resorted to establishing a fully equipped Geographical Information System (GIS) labs in the county headquarters. This quick move is targeted to deal with the mushrooming illegal buildings and infrastructures that are being erected in the major towns.
The devolved units believe that the GIS labs will help monitor, control and manage the development of buildings that have currently been rampantly constructed on road reserves and riparian lands.
The County Government Act 2012 required county administrations to prepare a ten-year GIS-based spatial plan which would form part of the County Integrated Development Plan. However, the act has recorded a slowed implementation sustaining the space for construction cartels to put up illegal structures with the help of corrupt county officials. This has majorly contributed to increased number of buildings that collapse killing tenants while leaving a majority of them seriously injured.
Recently, the Nairobi County government had resorted to a mass demolition of buildings constructed on uncertified spaces or grabbed lands that were meant for government projects. Among the buildings the Governor Mike Sonko led administration has demolished or suspended their constructions include Airgate Mall, Avic Towers, South End Mall.
Whereas the demolitions had been praised as good signs of dealing with impunity, questions have concurrently been raised over possible loses in jobs and billions of shillings prompting measures to ensure that such losses are prevented in the future.
Establishing county GIS labs is one such measure as it will not only help in spatial planning and urban development but also digitization and management of land parcels, data records, as well as Automation of land services and land use zoning. This will streamline real estate development kicking out cartels both in the industry as well as county offices.
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