Nairobi, 19 July 2022 -- UN-Habitat’s technical expertise is helping a Kenyan county acquire the skills and knowledge needed to deliver effective sustainable planning to better serve the hosts and their refugees.
The agreement with the Turkana County, still nascent in urbanization, will provide an opportunity towards the localization of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11, which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) comes as a follow up to previous cooperation with the county and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) to deliver similar sustainable planning for the Kalobeyei Integrated Refugee Settlement located in Turkana West sub-county. The planning of this settlement has become one of the best practices on how urban planning can support integration of refugees and the host community as well enabling efficient provision of infrastructure and basic services.
The County Secretary, Peter Eripete, who led the signing ceremony on behalf of the Turkana County
Governor highlighted that “the collaboration with UN-Habitat will enhance the county’s capacity to harness the benefits that come with urbanization with focus on the nine towns that the County Government has so far planned for.”
The new MOU will focus on the Urban Governance, Planning, Basic Services, Land, Housing and Property Rights, and Urban Economy and Finance in Turkana County.
The main objectives and outcomes expected in this MOU include: Developing spatial plans for major settlements in Turkana West sub-county; Developing strategies for infrastructural development and provision of basic services; Conducting situational analysis to inform urban planning processed; Institutional capacity in relevant ministries in planning, administration, and governance to be enhanced; Strengthening land management through land governance, adjudication processes including housing land and property rights, and supporting of environmental management, climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
“Drawing from experience during the planning of Kalobeyei Integrated Settlement and the ongoing process for getting a Joint municipality status for Kakuma and Kalobeyei (Include two refugee settlements and two towns) in Turkana west sub-county UN-Habitat is committed in bringing their global and regional expertise and experience in urban planning and land governance to strengthen Turkana County Government’s efforts towards promoting sustainable urbanisation,” said Ivana Unluova, UN-Habitat’s Senior Programme Advisor.
Charles Wagura, the representative for UN-Habitat Regional Office of Africa added that “Urban areas are engines of economic growth and centres of innovation, and, therefore, preparing and planning for urbanisation will bring a lot of transformation in the County’s development.”
United Nations Human Settlement Programmes (UN-Habitat) is assisting local governments in developing well-planned and efficient human settlements, with adequate housing, infrastructure, and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation.
That mission is performed through multilevel and multi-partner collaboration and partnership with national and local governments, the private sector, civil society, and communities to implantation of the New Urban Agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 which aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient.
To achieve the vision, UN-Habitat follows a participatory approach that supports the government in planning, ownership, and management of human settlements, as well as giving incentives for further development by increasing the institutional capacity in sustainable development of human settlements.
For the last seven years, UN-Habitat has implemented several projects under the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Plan (KISEDP) framework in Turkana West Sub-county with support from several donors including Government of Japan, Cities Alliance, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and European Union Trust Fund.