By CW Correspondent & PSCU
The Government of Kenya has unveiled Ardhisasa, a digital land information management system, marking the end of manual land transactions. The new system was developed by a team of Kenyan techies over a three-year period and is designed to enhance the security of land records, speed up land transactions and curb fraud.
Speaking when he unveiled the new system at the National Geospatial Data Centre in Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta told Kenyans that the digital platform would protect them from exploitation by cartels, middlemen and fraudsters.
“With the advent of ArdhiSasa, missing files, perennial fraud, corruption and illegal land transactions will be a matter of the past.
The platform is expected to increase revenue generation due to proper valuation, and payment of land rents as well as improve urban planning and infrastructure development. It is also expected to boost the on-going national titling programme of securing rights to land through issuance of titles.
The National Land Information Management System is well aligned with the President’s development agenda, and it will play a crucial role in the realization of the Big Four agenda and attainment of Kenya’s Vision 2030.
“The full rollout of the programme will facilitate the resolution of historical land disputes and guarantee the security and sanctity of your land title deed, true to the clarion Shamba Lako, Hati Safi, ” President Kenyatta said.
With the unveiling of Ardhisasa, the manual lands information management system in Nairobi has been vacated. However, land owners who might not be able to access their records are advised to be patient as the Ministry of Lands continues to populate the digital platform.
“As we transition fully into the National Land Information Management System and to safeguard public interest in this national endeavour, I call on all Kenyans to co-operate when called upon by the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to provide any information required to conclude the validation of any land records,” the President urged Kenyans.
President Kenyatta welcomed the full digitization of the Nairobi lands registry saying the exercise will be extended to the rest of the country in a phased and gradual manner.
“Another 20 counties will be on-boarded into the digital system by the end of the year. We project that all the counties will be covered by the end of 2022,” President Kenyatta said.
The Head of State further pointed out that the new digital platform will benefit all landowners and potential landowners by providing accurate information required to support the commercialisation of land in a convenient and timely manner.
Ardhisasa project also saw the production of Kenya’s first digital topographical map and those of the nation’s 47 counties, as well as a cadastral map for Nairobi City County.
The cadastral map enables the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to start the process of migration to a unitary regime for land registration in order to curb fraud and cut transaction time.
“It is also notable that public land has been separated from private land; and all public land in Nairobi has now been indexed, documented and safeguarded for public use,” the President said.
President Kenyatta commended the team of young Kenyans who for the last three years worked to build and deploy a world-class system at a fraction of the cost previously used to finance unsuccessful attempts at digitization.
“Your place of honour in the annals of our history is guaranteed and your contribution to moving the nation forward is immortalized through the work of your hands.
“You have demonstrated once again that we can rely on home-grown solutions to develop our country; and underscored the cost-effectiveness of working together as one indivisible Government of Kenya,” President Kenyatta praised the young Kenyans.
Lands CS Faridah Karoney said the digital platform will offer a one-stop-shop for all Government services and information on land. Speaking during the launch of the Ardhisasa platform, Faridah Karoney, CS, Ministry of Lands & Physical Planning emphasized that the system being launched will provide a standardized and integrated online platform to enable customers access land registration services seamlessly. “It will also make land management processes efficient, cost effective and timely,” she said.
She added that for the first time in Kenya’s history, through the #Ardhisasa platform, the ministry has been able to clearly map out public land from private land. Additionally, a process of updating and creating new topographical maps was undertaken for the entire country. It is because of this system that you can now access services conveniently at the comfort of your home. With ardhisasa, one will now be able to lodge or verify applications without having to make the trip to the land’s offices. This will greatly improve the efficiency in access to services.
On his part, Lands PS Dr Nicholas Muraguri said Ardhisasa platform will enable Kenyans to initiate and track land transactions from the comfort of their homes or offices using mobile phones or computers.
“The world is fast changing and the use of manual, paper-based transactions is no longer sustainable.” At the click of a button, users will now be able to search and carry out various land transactions, drastically reducing human interactions, delays and other inconveniences previously experienced at land registries,’ she concluded.