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Background and Mandate

Vision :A well managed environment where land, mining and natural resources are utilized sustainably to create wealth for the citizens of the county.

Mission: Enabling environment created  for accelerated investments on land, mining and natural resources to achieve rapid industrialization of the county.

Strategic goals/objectives of the Department

The  strategic  goals  for  the Department are:

  • To  attain  sustainable  land  management  and development.
  • To increase forest cover for a sustainable development in a clean and secure environment;
  • To manage mineral resources for the County Development and community empowerment

Sub-sectors and their mandates

The Department derives its mandate from the major sub-sectors, i.e., lands, mining, environment and natural resources.

Land sector

Mandate include Lands Policy Management, Physical Planning, Land Transactions,  Survey  and  Mapping, Settlement  Matters,  Rural  Settlement planning  i.e.  eco-village,  Land  Reclamation,  County  Spatial  data and land  Information  System, Administration of public land in the County.


Mineral exploration,  inventory  and  mapping  of  mineral  resources in the County,  and County level mining policy and management mining,  policies  on  the  management  of  quarrying  and  mining  areas, management  of  health  and  safety standards  in  mines.

Environment and natural resources

Environmental    management,  forest  development  and  management (including re-afforestation  and  agro-forestry), conservation  and  protection  of  wildlife and marine ecosystems,  water catchment area conservation and coordination of climate change affairs,

Land and Land Use


Along the coastal strip and the coastal uplands, land is mainly owned by absentee landlords, leading to the squatter settlement problem. The trust and government land within these areas have since been adjudicated and government settlement schemes established. In the drier areas of the Nyika Plateau in Kinango, Kasemeni, Samburu Ndavaya and some parts of Lunga Lunga Divisions land is held in trust and under group ranches. Land is viewed as communal asset where every member of the community has the right to use it. In most areas adjudication has not been done. Most of the group ranches currently are non-functional and this has resulted in unplanned human settlements in the land. The land is also used for small scale farming, mining and quarrying as well as settlements.

Mean Holding Size

Land as a resource is evidently under-utilized in Kwale County. According to 2005/06 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey (KIHBS) the main holding size is 4.4 acres.

Percentage of Land with Title Deeds

Only 22.5 per cent of the land in the county has title deeds. Most land in Kinango, Msambweni and Matuga Sub-counties do not have title deeds.

Incidence of Landlessness

There is a high incidence of landlessness and squatters in Kwale County. Most households are landless specifically in Matuga and Msambweni constituencies. Such households are clearly vulnerable because of their low incomes and inaccessibility to land.

Major Challenge

Land Ownership

Most smallholders who are the majority farmers do not have title deeds. Only 22.5 per cent of the farmers in Kwale have title deeds to their farms. Most of them are squatters who may be evicted at any time thus limiting the farmer’s capacity to use land for sustainable development. Consequently, this has led to poor land use systems leading to environment degradation which further limits the exploitation of county potentials. Further, the lack of tittles limits farmers’ ability to access credit facilities as they cannot use the land as collateral.
Fish production has also been hampered by the illegal acquisition of fish landing sites by unscrupulous private developers. The few fish landing sites that are not yet grabbed are at risk of being illegally acquired as they lack proper documentation.

Strategic Objectives




Develop a mineral resource map for Kwale County

Produce a resource map indicating details of the mineral types in Kwale County.

Resource map for mineral deposits in the County

Gazette all the mineral deposit sites identified

Gazette notices for deposit sites

Make land accessions on vulnerable areas that are identified to be rich in mineral deposits

Land accession documents for vulnerable deposit sites

Formulate and implement mineral resources development and exploitation policy

Promote and implement mechanisms for sustainable mining activities.

Develop a policy documents that guide surveying, prospecting, and mining of minerals

Relevant policy documents

Develop guidelines for artisanal mining and community engagement in mining

Relevant guidelines document

Establish a mining task force to monitor miners adherence to policies and guidelines 

Operating task force

Ensure rehabilitation/restoration of all mining sites as per the EMP in the EIA.

Maintain records of mining activities including the EMP

Updated mining activity records and follow up plans


Progressive monitoring of the mining and rehabilitation/restoration as per the EIA/EMP



Develop relevant policies and guide lines for the environmental issues.

  • Produce policy document for conflict resolution mechanisms;
  • Produce policy for wildlife damage/loss compensation;
  • Produce policy for natural resource access and utilization (including minerals, oil & gas)
  • Produce guidelines for benefit sharing accruing from natural resources
  • Produce guidelines for development activities and engagement
  • Respective policy documents
  • Respective guidelines documents

Establish sensitization and community awareness campaigns to enlighten the community on environment and related agenda.

  • Mobilize community awareness programs through County  administrators to inform community on their rights and responsibilities in environmental management and utilization
  • Develop educational materials with information on rules and regulations governing the environment.
  • Produce policy briefs to summarize different policies, guidelines and processes related to environment
  • Use local media to inform communities on environmental issues, processes and laws
  • Establish community committees charged with environmental education, management and utilization.
  • Support community groups (CFAs) to participate in PFM activities (Forest Management Plan; Agreement Plan; Business plan
  • Better informed community in environment issues
  • Increased PFM activities
  • Increased community benefits from sustainable conservation
  • Better conserved forest and other natural landscapes
  • Educational posters and brochures
  • Operational committees on environment

Identification, demarcation and fencing protected areas to discourage straying wild life.

  • Survey protected areas
  • Develop resource map for the protected areas
  • Fence all the forest reserves, national reserves and kaya forests
  • Resource maps
  • Protected/fenced boundaries

Develop tree growers initiatives to cater for timber, poles and fuel resource needs as a buffer for the indigenous forests.

  • Establish tree growers associations with defined benefits
  • Develop commercial tree nurseries to serve tree growers demands
  • Avail credit facility for tree growers to encourage tree farming as an agri-business
  • Undertake vocational training for tree growers in farming and business skills
  • Registered tree growers associations
  • Increased number of commercial tree nurseries
  • Loan facility for tree growers
  • Training programs for tree growers

Rehabilitate degraded forest areas and other landscapes as per historical ecological constituents

  • Undertake inventories on the establish degraded areas
  • Literature review on historical floral and faunal composition of degraded areas
  • Develop rehabilitation plan and monitoring system for each degraded area
  • Inventory data (benchmarks)
  • Research output on flora and fauna of affected areas
  • Monitoring plan in place


Update agro-ecological zones for the County land area to inform relevant socio-economic activities

  • Research action to review the agro-ecological data
  • Develop updated maps indicate ‘new’ boundaries of the agro-ecological areas
  • Revise socio-economic activities advice as per the updated agro-ecological information
  • Updated agro-ecological maps
  • Reviewed socio-economic action plan


Adjudicate the relevant land for distribution to native communities.


  • Develop database of squatters and landless persons in the County
  • Establish settlement scheme in favor of the deserving native community members
  • Issue title deeds to beneficiaries of the settlement scheme
  • Effect gender balance in the beneficiary selection
  • Database of squatters and landless persons
  • Successful implemented settlement schemes
  • Persons issued with title deeds

Establish sensitization and community awareness campaigns to enlighten the community on land acquisition process and management.

  • Mobilize community awareness program through the Chief’s office to inform community on land issues (acquisition, documents and levies).
  • Develop educational materials with information on land use and development.
  • Produce policy briefs to summarize different land policies and legislation
  • Use local media to inform communities on best practices in land management
  • Establish community committees charged with conflict resolution on land issues.
  • Support farmer groups to engage in conservation agriculture
  • Community knowledgeable on land issues (conservation and utilization)
  • Posters and brochure on land information
  • Policy briefs on land policies and legislation
  • Local media materials on land issues
  • Vibrant community committees mitigating conflicts on land issues

Establish taskforce to investigate past land dealings and injustice, for correctional action, and irresponsible office bearers taken to task.

  • Establish county land commission equivalent
  • Audit of land ownership and legality in acquisition
  • Prosecution of corruption and other malpractices among individuals
  • County land issues taskforce
  • Transparent land transactions
  • Prosecution if need arise

Relevant County executive office fully mandated to transact land issues.

  • Land allocations through consultation with the County executive office
  • Consultative engagements between County office, Land Commission, and Lands office.
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