Siaya County department of lands is seeking to engage the public on the drafted County Spatial Plan to get their input before its completion and publication. Among the challenges the 10-year land use plan seeks to address include regional imbalances in infrastructure development, unguided urbanisation, massive land fragmentation and diminishing agricultural land use, encroachment into fragile ecosystems and un-tapped and under-utilised land resources.

The Lands Chief Officer Jackton Ondiko says the draft County Spatial Plan that will control development planning in the County for the next 10 years is out as a draft awaiting input from the public. The department has, therefore, a planned series of meetings county-wide to engage members of the public through public participation forums.

The process of developing the document has been structured in five phases namely; inception, data collection, situation analysis, drafting and publication.

Ondiko who, earlier this week, met departmental heads at Siaya Agriculture Training Centre to share document progress and receive their input on the formulated County Spatial Plan said the absence of the plan has seen the region experience staggered urbanisations which is not good for effective development.

“The rapid development witnessed in recent times has been happening without requisite tools to guide such urban growth and development,” said Ondiko. The chief officer said this has led to mushrooming of incompatible land use and development, lack of space to provide for critical public utilities like storm water and sewerage among others.

The document is expected to guide the use and management of public and private land and land-based resources and help in achieving equity, productivity, efficiency and sustainability. “Once we have the input of the public we shall do a comprehensive County Spatial Plan whose implementation will create a more rational organisation of land use.

The Spatial Plan is also expected to address key developmental challenges that the county is grappling with while recognising the abundant and diverse resource endowment available hitherto.