Nairobi, 23 January 2018—The effects of climate change are affecting the grazing patterns in Kenya’s nomadic communities forcing many of them to relocate to towns and urban centres which has resulted in chaotic urbanisation, the Governor of Kenya’s Garissa County Ali Korane has said.

“Having lost pasture and their animals, the hitherto nomads are forced to relocate to urban centres for alternative livelihoods and this has led to chaotic urbanisation,” Mr. Korane said.

He was speaking in Nairobi during the signing  ceremony of “Support to Preparation of Garissa County Spatial Development Plan 2018 – 2028” between UN-Habitat and the County Government of Garissa.

The Governor welcomed the partnership between UN-Habitat and his government saying that as a county that was marginalised before Kenya embraced devolution after enactment of a new constitution in 2010, there were a lot of catching up that needed to be done.

“We are looking forward to more engagement for the betterment of the lives of our people,” Mr. Korane said.

In his remarks, the Director of UN-Habitat Regional Office for Africa (ROAF) Mr. Naison Mutizwa - Mangiza said the organisation remained a close development partner to the Government of Kenya, extending support and advice to address the challenges of rapid urbanization we are experiencing today.

“As part of this support, we continue to explore more efficient, effective, and supportive ways of cooperation for sustainable development. We are currently focusing on supporting county governments to realise economic prosperity through various programes targeting urban planning and design, access to affordable housing, revenue enhancement, water and basic services infrastructure development, legislation, land and governance as well as research and capacity development,” he said.

UN-Habitat has so far had successful engagements with Garissa County Government in two crucial events; the Revenue Enhancement workshop and the National Urban Forum held within this January. This proactive approach by county government is commendable.

“This contribution agreement being signed today is an entry point to the UN-Habitat and Garissa County Government collaboration. We have just finalized the UN-Habitat Country Programme Document (HCPD) for Kenya developed collaboratively with Government and other stakeholders (including the Council of Governors) for purposes of assisting Kenya to implement the New Urban Agenda,” Mr.  Mangiza said.

According to the director the HCPD focused on six priority areas which he revealed as  1) Improved Land Management and Sustainably Planned Human Settlements; 2) Improved access to Quality Urban Basic Services and Infrastructure by all citizens; 3) Improved Access to Quality and Affordable Housing and Sustainable Slum Upgrading and Prevention; 4) Innovation in improving Urban Economy and Finance; 5) Improved Urban Governance and Resilience; and 6) Improved Capacity Development, Monitoring and Evaluation and Sensitization.

“The collaboration with Garissa will be within this context. We therefore look forward to broader collaboration with Garissa in future. UN-Habitat is looking forward to a successful engagement with Garissa county in this and other strategic areas that will ensure sustainable human settlements development in the county,” Mr. Mangiza concluded.