FAO in Kenya

Towards Securing Community Land Tenure in Kenya's Counties

Nandi County Governor H.E. Hon. Stephen araap Sang and FAO Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema unveil Nandi GIS Laboratory on May 15, 2019. Photo ©FAO/Richard Bett


The Constitution of Kenya (2010) and the County Government Act requires that every county must develop geo-reference information in  planning which includes geographic information system (GIS) based County Spatial Plans and that the five-year County Integrated Development Plans (CIDP). It is therefore necessary for every county in Kenya to have a functional GIS facility.

In this regard, FAO, the European Union and the Government of Kenya through the land governance programme are facilitating counties to make geospatial technology systems available, accessible and functional for effective planning and decision making.  The objective of this land governance programme is to improve food and nutrition security through equitable and secure access and management of land for better livelihoods and socioeconomic development in all counties as per Vision 2030.

This European Union funded land governance programme seeks to improve decentralized land governance of community lands in ASAL counties of Kenya. The programme is implemented by FAO in partnership with in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning (MoLPP), the National Land Commission (NLC) and nine County Governments (Tana River, Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo, Marsabit, Samburu, Laikipia, Nandi and, since 2018, Vihiga).

Between the months of May and August 2019, seven GIS laboratories have been launched in Baringo, Nandi, Vihiga, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu and Marsabit. The Laikipia and Tana River laboratories are set to be launched in September 2019. FAO’s support to the National Land Commission and County Governments has been on capacity building through GIS Technical trainings and acquisition of hardware through the establishment and equipping of GIS laboratories.

The laboratories will facilitate the counties to: a) support spatial and land use mapping; b) inform county government development planning; c) improve documentation of community land rights for recognition, protection and registration of communal tenure rights; d) estimate crop yield mapping  and health assessment; b) facilitate surveillance and predictive mapping of diseases for early warning and early action; e) map landscapes in terms of natural resource use, management and degradation (including forests, soils, water and irrigation and wildlife); f) assess suitability of selected value chains to inform revenue collection and county investment in agriculture; and g) facilitate agricultural census and and adoption of precision agriculture practices using satellite data.

FAO land governance programme expected outputs

Output 1:  Inclusive land management and administration enhanced in selected counties.
Output 2: Participatory land use planning methodology established and planning completed in selected counties.
Output 3: Land Policy and legal framework for improved land governance in counties established in line with the
Voluntary Guidelines on the responsible Governance of tenure (VGGT) of land, fisheries and forests in the Context of national food security.
Output 4: Knowledge management and capacity of research institutions on national land issues strengthened.

For more information on the Land Governance Programme, contact:

Husna Mbarak
Governance of Natural Resources Sub-Programme Leader &
Land Governance Programme Manager
Email: [email protected] 
Tel: +254 20 7625922

Additional Resources

FAO works to promote coherent approaches to sustainable land and water management

FAO in Kenya

FAO and the European Union