Kenya to expedite geospatial technology use

VIHIGA, Kenya, May 16 (Xinhua) — Kenya plans to expedite geospatial technology use to help manage critical resources and benefit citizens, a government official said on Thursday.

Eugene Wamalwa, cabinet secretary for devolution, said that geospatial technology is expected to help the country achieve sustainable development planning, resource management and monitoring and evaluation.

“The support and application of geospatial technologies will provide data for proper planning in all parts of the country so that citizens could realize the benefits of the resources,” Wamalwa said during the launch of geospatial technologies laboratory in Vihiga, Western Kenya.

Wamalwa noted that the technology is expected to usher in harmonized plans, monitor and evaluate and implement plans as projected by the national and county governments.

He said that the technology in government avails necessary data and information to enhance service delivery.

Kenya recently launched a national resource mapping project to conduct geospatial survey and mapping of natural resources in the country. The initiative updated 75 topographical maps and drew six full county maps.

“We look forward to opening up opportunities in infrastructure development and e-commerce while eliminating duplication of functions and reducing wastage of resources,” Wamalwa added.

He said that Kenya has the capacity but only lacked application of these technologies in the development agenda.

In the space technology, Kenya Space Agency has been set up to supply space data while several universities are already offering courses in the field of geospatial technology.

Wamalwa urged county governors to ensure that application of geospatial technologies is streamlined in the implementation of devolved functions such as health, agriculture and water.

“With this technology, we are capable of creating opportunities for the upcoming businesses and also create employment,” he added.

The technology has been launched in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Environmental Systems Research Institute, an international supplier of geographic information system software.

With the advent of satellite technology, most digital data is derived from space and can be used for environmental monitoring. Enditem

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