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Kenya launches land use policy to address food security, environmental protection

NAIROBI, June 12 (Xinhua) — Kenya on Tuesday launched the national land use policy to help address food security and environmental protection.

Deputy President William Ruto said the document will also address other related concerns such as human settlements, climate change and economic pursuits within the context of social, economic, political and other related realities.

“However, to achieve balanced economic development, it will take more than the legislative framework that has been put in place, but rather a change of attitude and approach,” Ruto said during the launch of the blueprint in Nairobi.

He said the ability to manage diverse, competing and conflicting claims while upholding livelihoods and promoting sustainability is critical for development.

“In order to adequately address matters connected with land, the policy is a product of wide, comprehensive, patient, diligent and inclusive deliberations and consultations,” Ruto said and emphasized that consultation and participation are not mere formalities or meaningless rituals.

The overall goal of the policy, which was drafted in 2016, aims at providing legal mechanisms for utilization of land as the absence of a clearly defined land use policy in the country since independence resulted in a disorganized approach in managing the different land use practices and different responses.

Farida Koroney, the Cabinet Secretary for Lands, said utilization of land by the citizenry is influenced by competing interests which results in conflicts.

“The rapid increase in population and the high rates of urbanization continues to exert pressure on the scarce land resources in different parts of the country. This has contributed to intense competition between different land uses, resulting in various challenges related to land use,” Karoney said.