Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday launched the final report of the nationwide airborne geophysical survey and inaugurated seven other ground-breaking projects that provide current and comprehensive geospatial data covering the entire country.
Kenyatta said the eight projects were developed under the Joint National and Resource Mapping (JNAM) team which comprises young Kenyan professionals under the supervision of a multi-agency from the security sector.
“Innovations generated from the exercise will fast-track the creation of jobs, diversification of revenue sources, and industrial development in line with the Big 4 (development) Agenda and Vision 2030,” he said in a statement issued after the ceremony in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
JNAM which is a multi-agency project aims to develop and facilitate the provision of secure up-to-date geospatial data at a minimum cost that would be shared within the government for planning and development purposes.
Kenyatta who launched the Joint National Mapping Projects expressed optimism that the projects will help in the national development landscape.
He commended the talented young Kenyan professionals who worked jointly under the multi-agency JNAM team to make the projects a reality.
“Your efforts have made Kenya the first African country to conduct such an extensive survey without tapping into foreign expertise,” he said.
The president said, through the projects, the JNAM team mapped out a wide range of resources including base metals, coal, gemstones, geothermal spots, forest cover, water bodies, precious metals, and rare earth elements.
He pointed out that the output maps have already helped the ministry of education in mapping out schools countrywide, the ministry of roads has been assisted in the identification of road reserves while the Kenya forestry services have been able to map out forest cover and identify encroached areas.
Under the JNAM multi-agency project, the president said the team also successfully developed a current cadaster for Nairobi County which has helped in the identification and securing of public lands such as green spaces, health facilities, schools, roads, and road reserves.
“Overall, with the updated data sets generated as part of this survey, the national and county governments, the private sector, learning institutions, and other stakeholders are now better positioned to plan and implement their development programs,” the president said.
He also commended the JNAM team for developing several online applications such as the Taifa Pay, which is used to centrally collect most government revenues within Nairobi, increasing transparency and accountability in government and private dealings.
Kenyatta said the team also developed the ArdhiSasa digital platform, a land management system that improved the speed of land transactions.
“Where once it took a minimum of six months to do a single land transaction, this has now been reduced to 48 hours using Ardhi-Sasa. Similarly, instead of taking between one and three months to do a land search, this system will give you land search results in three to five minutes,” Kenyatta said.
He urged all Kenyans to embrace the ArdhiSasa system that has established a transparent, affordable, and efficient Land Information Management System.
The JNAM team has also developed the Kenya National Spatial Data Infrastructure for spatial discovery, evaluation, and application within all levels of Government, commercial sectors, non-profitable sectors, academia, and the citizens in general.
The JNAM team has also developed an online mining cadaster to improve mining dealership and rights processes, which will greatly boost revenue collection within the mining sector.
“For a very long time, our land has been exploited by individuals who say they are taking the soil to their labs. With this innovation we will be able to know what is being mined and by who,” Kenyatta said. Enditem