The application of Geospatial Technologies to Vision 2030

Kenya’s Vision 2030 strategy was launched in launched in June 2008. The overarching vision for the plan is “a globally competitive and prosperous nation with high quality of life by 2030.” The plan is based on three pillars:

  1. Economic: Maintain and sustain economic growth of 10% per annum for most of the next 20 years
  2. Social:  A just and cohesive society enjoying equitable social dev in a clean a secure environment
  3. Political: An issue based, people-centered and accountable democratic political system

The strategy is enabled by crosscutting activities in infrastructure development, science technology & innovation, public sector reform and macroeconomic stability. The Vision 2030 office is currently working to support approximately 100 projects across all pillars and within the “enabler” areas across the country.

One example is the reform of political system through the development of e-government systems to improve service delivery and communication with the general public. Another example in is the road development currently taking place throughout Nairobi (any Nairobian can tell you the current snarly traffic jams are a constant headache).

Vision 2030 is expected to be rolled out through government programmes with a significant contribution from the private sector. Companies and organizations are encouraged to contribute to the Vision. Private companies and public-private partnerships are expected to be responsible for rolling out 70% of project. Tatu City is one such private sector project.

Geospatial information for decision making towards Vision 2030

As presented today in the Africa Geospatial Forum, the team behind Vision 2030, lead by Director General Muga Kibati, requires geospatial information to assist in decision making. One example of this is the plans to establish 4-5 zoonotic “disease free zones” to improve the situation for livestock and animal husbandry. Identifying and monitoring these areas for improved planning and decision making will be assisted by GIS. Another area where geographic information systems (GIS) will be crucial is in land registry. EM Murage, Directory of Surveys at the Ministry of Lands, spoke of the development of a national digital cadastre database and land registry database.

According to the Murage, Kenya has “continued to use outdated and inconsistent geodetic reference systems that are not properly connected. The situation makes building up Geographic Information Systems (GIS) extremely complicated.” One challenge the Ministry experiences is the demand to conform with modern geospatial technologies, inadequate software for updating topographical maps and survey activities and inadequate human capacity in new technology (his slides showed screenshots of ArcView 3.2!! – they most recent version is 10).

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) is another key government agency that supplies geospatial information that is, and will contribute to Vision 2030. KNBS is the principal agency of the government for collecting, analyzing and disseminating statistical data in Kenya. According to Emma Akelo Odhiambo, GIS Manager at KNBS, her team will use geographic information to assist in timely decision making for several sectors. Of particular interest is the health and water and sanitation sectors.

The GIS team will contribute to the goal “to provide equitable affordable health care at the highest standard of cities” and to make “water and sanitation available and accessible to all.” KNBS will identify location of health facilities and provide data about the distribution of future health facilities and medical personnel to staff based on the needs identified.

Type of health information KNBS will collect:

  1. Location of health facilities
  2. Distribution of medical personnel
  3. Location of vulnerable populations
  4. Indicating longitudinal trends
  5. Mapping at risk population
  6. Determining geographic distribution and variation of diseases (incidence and prevalence)

Water and sanitation information:

  1. Inventory of utilities
  2. Distribution of water points
  3. Accessibility to water points
  4. Sources of water
  5. Safety of water point

Government agencies, organizations, institutions, companies and individuals contributing to Vision 2030 have a challenging task ahead of them. Many of the presentation in the session on Vision 2030 at the Africa Geospatial Forum discussed the potential of geospatial information, rather than concrete examples of how various agencies are using information to inform projects. With only 18.5 years left to 2030, the challenges faced by various agencies in terms of harnessing GIS tools for decision support must be tackled quickly in order to move ahead not only with planning but also with monitoring the implementation of Vision 2030’s projects.

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