National Land Commissions from Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region have commenced a three-day workshop in Mombasa to deliberate on how to move away from regional land conflicts to economically viable resources for their citizens.
Speaking at the start of the inaugural IGAD Land Commissions Conference, Kenya’s National Land Commission Vice chairperson Getrude Nguku explained that having been mandated by the constitution to steer land reforms, the Commissions can no longer ignore the extent to which land related issues are fanning conflicts.
Nguku, who represented NLC chairman Mr. Gershom Otachi, was categorical that a higher percentage of these conflicts can be mitigated by effective land management, capacity building of regions and funding of Commissions to facilitate their activities.
She explained that the workshop is timely in forging meaningful partnerships to leverage on resources and ideas for growth in the region. She also made an appeal to donor organizations including IGAD to facilitate specialized trainings on Blue Economy to inform the Commission’s policy.
At the same time Commissioner Hon. Esther Murugi also speaking at the event, reiterated the need for partnerships stating that the Commission’s strategic plan 2021-2026 emphasizes on the importance of strategic partnerships and synergies to support NLC mandate.
She said the workshop will set a platform for cross learning from achievements, successes, challenges and opportunities.
Murugi , who represented NLC Ag.CEO Kabale Tache, implored that the workshop also presents an opportunity to reflect and identify gaps in the land sector while also identifying areas of synergy to promote land governance in the region.
IGAD’s Esther Obaikol while representing Agriculture and Environment Division Director,Daher Elmi, reiterated the need to view land governance as a key tool to foster peace and security in the region.
Obaikol who is the Lead Land Governance at IGAD, noted that 70 per cent of IGAD region is made up of Arid and Semi Arid Lands(ASALs) thus scarce economic resources.
Obaikol urged member states to rethink their roles as land Commissions to foster peace by viewing land planning and land use not only from a technical perspective but from a lens that changes lives in the communities.
Participants are drawn from Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan, which are four out of eight IGAD nations with land commissions.
Also in attendance are NLC Commissioners Hubbie Hussein, Hon. Kazungu Kambi, Reginald Okumu and several secretariat staff led by Directors and Heads of Departments.