Lamu County launches Spatial Plan
The County Government of Lamu on Thursday, July 13, at Mkunguni Square in Lamu Island, made a historic step towards ensuring the Coastal County (home to one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites), is properly planned following the launch of its approved County Spatial Plan.
The historic event represented a key milestone for the locals, investors and most importantly conservation community in Lamu following the numerous mega-infrastructure projects the county had witnessed in the recent past; fulfilling the County Government’s Act 2012 requirement that ‘each of the 47 counties should prepare, approve and implement county spatial plans.
Speaking at Mkunguni Square as he presided over the event, Lamu County Governor, Issa Timamy, expressed his gratitude to all the stakeholders, including WWF-Kenya (World Wide Fund for Nature ) with the assistance of financial and technical support from WWF-UK and WWF-US.
‘’Today, Lamu County is flying high as the first County to enact the all-important County Spatial Plan. This plan will form the framework that will inform all the sectoral plans ranging from Education, Environment, Health and Agriculture,” said the Governor.
He added that he will be committed in ensuring the plan is fully operationalized and implemented; saying that the document will be translated into the local Swahili language for the entire community to be fully aware of it.
Speaking at the same event, the WWF-Kenya’s board member Dr. Richard Kaguamba, urged Lamu residents to rally behind the plan stating that the WWF-Kenya has and will remain at the forefront in supporting the Lamu County Spatial Plan next phase of implementation.
“Our financial and technical support to the tune of over Kshs3M will go a long way in ensuring equitable and sustainable distribution of resources, spur economic growth and ensure protection of ecologically sensitive/significant areas in Lamu County,’’ said Kaguamba.
In attendance were stakeholders who ranged from representatives of the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning, the National Land Commission, LAPSSET, Lamu County Natural Resource Network and community members drawn from the 10 wards in Lamu County.
The Chief Executive Officer of WWF-Kenya Mr Mohamed Awer, challenged the remaining 46 counties to learn from Lamu County adding that WWF-Kenya will allocate resources to ensure the implementation of the plan starts in Lamu County immediately.
‘’To all the county leaders present, take it upon yourself and ensure that your respective County plans are prepared and passed. They are the keys that will unlock the unlimited economic development and boost conservation efforts across the country,’’ said Awer.
Centre for Urban and Regional Planning, the consulting team who spearheaded the entire process of the development of the Spatial Plan, reiterated the importance of fully involving the community in developing the plan, since they are the direct beneficiaries.
Counties represented in the launch like Bomet, Kwale and Naro, have already embarked on developing their respective County spatial plans.