The government is developing a comprehensive regional development policy for the sustainable exploitation and management of natural resources.
Coast Development Authority (CDA) Managing Director (MD) Mohamed Keinan says the draft policy spearheaded by the Ministry of the East African Community and Regional Development is geared towards obtaining sustainable socio-economic development in the regions and the country at large.
Dr Keinan says the draft policy being fine-tuned by the stakeholders and development experts targets the six regional authorities in the country that include CDA, Ewaso Nyiro South Development Authority, Ewaso Nyiro North Development Authority, Lake Basin Development Authority, Kerio Valley Development Authority and Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority.
He said in Kenya the regional development approach for national development was adopted in the early 1970s in a bid to foster integrated sustainable economic development and empower local communities.
The CDA MD was addressing the media on the sidelines of a public participation forum for draft regional development policy at Diamond Dream of Africa Hotel in Malindi, Kilifi County.
He says the aforementioned regional development authorities have the mandate of spearheading integrated multipurpose development programmes and projects within their areas of jurisdiction and mobilization of resources.
“We are gathered here with relevant organs of state and stakeholders to come up with a coherent and integrated strategy that will guide in the sustainable exploitation of natural resources found within the borders of Kenya,” he said.
Dr Keinan noted the overall goal of the policy is to provide a framework to achieve sustainable utilization and management of natural resources so as to spur harmonious and equitable socio-economic development across the country.
Dr Keinan said among the programmes and projects being implemented by CDA include the construction of the Sh. 20 billion Mwache Multipurpose Dam in Kwale County.
The Mwache Dam is an 87.5-meter-tall concrete gravity dyke, impounding 118 million cubic meters of water with a daily supply of 186,000 cubic meters of water.
He said the dam co-funded by the National Government and the World Bank will have an irrigation component in Kwale covering about 2,500 hectares.
On his part CDA Chairman Philip Charo noted the policy document will come in handy at a time the government is undertaking strategic national programmes such as the big four agenda of food security, affordable housing, universal healthcare and manufacturing.