The devolved unit’s administration has indicated that the GIS system will help in getting information on the varieties of natural resources in the county and the social facilities available adding that it will also help in management of human resources.
Chief Officer in charge of Lands Ms. Catherine Changwony elaborated that the GIS laboratory system will further help local and foreign investors to conveniently access land information.
While noting that setting up of the GIS laboratory was is in line with Governor Susan Kihika’s manifesto to digitize access to some essential services to shorten the time and reduce the cost of access to services, Ms. Changwony added that the system would help them collect, process and analyze data in digital form.
She made the remarks during a training programme for county lands officials on data transformation and the establishment of a Lands Information System conducted by the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).
Changwony said she was hopeful that the GIS laboratory system would improve development planning and management.
The GIS lab is expected to provide a platform to store and manage digital footprint of development projects in sectors such as water, education, health, roads, rangelands, environment and natural resources.
Clause 105 (f) of the County Government Act 2012 requires county governments to establish GIS-based database systems for provision of data in the development of the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
The technology is important for decision making during planning and allocation of resources for the Annual Development Plan (ADP).
Changwony noted that in Africa geospatial technology is necessary because the continent still faces numerous challenges such as unplanned settlements, degraded rangelands, inadequate or unplanned infrastructure, low quality of development projects, poor monitoring systems, mushrooming of new settlements and inequitable resource allocation due to lack of appropriate tools for decision making.
“We have resolved to use GIS technology cognizant of these challenges and the need to streamline monitoring of development projects and ensure equitable resource allocations based on evidence,” the Chief Officer explained.
GIS uses location-based data collected via satellites, paper maps, and directly from the field through mobile positioning devices to map out resources for analysis and decision-making.
The Chief Officer said the technology would help the county government in supporting prudent management and allocation of resources while also facilitating rational decision-making processes.
By using geographic information, she pointed out, the county government will be able to make informed decisions when it comes to planning and distributing projects equitably.
“The system enables any government to make key decisions that enable development in all areas without discrimination. The Geospatial Technologies Services laboratory stores data for all projects done by the county and also helps in monitoring projects being implemented. The technology provides the GIS with images frequently to help closely monitor ongoing development projects in the county,” she explained.
She went on “This satellite technology will enable us to monitor our programmes and thus ensure their implementation. It is one way of automating services with the aim of improving efficiency as well as sealing loopholes through which public funds are lost.”
The technology can identify areas in dire need of road connection or a department that requires urgent support in terms of funding, among other things.
It can also be used to enhance various social amenities such as schools, social schools, hospitals, dispensaries and markets.
The system has also helped streamline the budgeting process and give evidence-based development needs to the people, thereby attracting support from development partners, according to the official.
Changwony said GIS will help the county administration to manage resources efficiently and effectively for the benefit of the residents including forest areas, water, minerals, wildlife, and wetlands through developed spatial plans.
“GIS offers a clear look into issues affecting the residents and comes in handy in implementing policy framework and enhanced feedback. Most people may not know but GIS and its utilization and implementation is part of Governor Kihika’s manifesto,” noted the Chief Officer.