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Kapsowar Spatial Plan launched to transform informal settlement

The Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Program Phase II (KISIP-2) has initiated a spatial planning exercise in the Kapsowar informal settlement in Kapsowar Ward, Marakwet West Sub-County.

The initiative, a collaborative effort between the County Government of Elgeyo and KISIP-2 under the Department of Lands, Urban Planning, and Physical Planning, aims to uplift the living standards of the residents and pave the way for the town’s development.

The project, backed by the World Bank along with both National and County governments, focuses on settlement upgrading, socio-economic improvement, institutional upgrading, and program management and coordination.

Stephen Ngare, Lead Consultant at Spatial Milestone, spoke during the launch, assuring the community that the spatial planning exercise, would not displace any rightful occupants of the land. Hence, he emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in expediting the process.

Ngare explained that the initial Phase would involve land tenure regularization, eventually leading to the issuance of allotment letters and, subsequently, title deeds. Importantly, he highlighted that no development or land sales should occur during the planning period.

Thomas Maiyo, the Chief Executive Commissioner for Lands, Urban Planning, provided insights into the process, revealing that a socio-economic survey would precede an enumeration of structure owners. A validation exercise by the Settlement Executive Committee (SEC) members would take place, before the planning Phase is undertaken and approved by the County Assembly.

“This will guide the improvement of infrastructure, including road networks, drainage, and power connectivity, among other amenities,” stated Maiyo.

Rebecca Maritim, the National Lands Commission County Coordinator, addressed the beneficiaries, affirming that they would receive their titles and leasehold letters upon the completion of the spatial planning process.

The assurance was welcomed by the community members, who have long awaited such documentation for their properties.

Josphat Kerich, the Project Coordinator for KISIP-2 in Elgeyo Marakwet, expressed confidence in the project’s seamless progression.

He noted that the initiative would bring substantial benefits to the people of Kapsowar town, contributing to the overall improvement of their living conditions.

The Kapsowar community enthusiastically welcomed the program, recognizing its potential to attract economic gains and significantly enhance their livelihoods. Joseph Cheboi, a plot owner in Kapsowar, expressed gratitude for the project, emphasizing their willingness to collaborate with all stakeholders, to ensure the timely completion of the initiative.

Notably, The Kapsowar Spatial Plan launch is part of a broader strategy, with other urban and settlement areas set to undergo similar transformations.

These areas include Tambach, Bugar, and Kapcherop, the latter of which was officially launched last Friday.

By Rennish Okong’o

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