Joint surveyors complete pillar identification on Migingo Island

Published on 12/06/2009

By Kepher Otieno

Surveyors working to resolve the Migingo Island dispute have completed the identification of geographic and hydrographic pillars erected in 1902 by the colonial governments.

However, Kenya’s Director of Land Surveys Ephantus Murage disclosed that most of the pillars on land that would help determine the lake boundaries had been vandalised and had to be erected again.

“We have had difficulties identifying the pillars. Some were in fairly good condition, but we have had to construct 15 pillars,” he said.

Murage also disclosed that the Government had released Sh70 million for the exercise.

Battle of control

This puts to rest the battle of the control and accountability of the funds between the Ministry of Lands and Office of the President (OP).

Review of international boundaries falls under OP and the Lands Ministry is only supposed to offer technical support.

The two offices were locked in a tussle over who would control the funds.

Yesterday, Murage said the technical hitch had been sorted out.

The surveyors will use the advanced satellite technology and the Global Positioning System (GPS) to transmit scientific data on the lake.

Control points

Murage disclosed they would carry out eight GPS sessions in the second phase survey to identify the co-ordinate control points for the re-drawing of the boundaries in the lake.

The survey will also examine boundaries of five other islands, which have sparked disputes in the past. These are Sumba, Pyramid, Remba, Mageta and Ringiti.

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