Cadastre Systems and Their Effectiveness in Implementation of a GIS-Based Physical Addressing System

A Case Study of Kiambu, Thika and Machakos Towns in Kenya

  • Silas Muketha University of Nairobi
Keywords: Cadastre, digital, Geographic Information System, land information, physical addressing


GIS-based physical addressing and cadastre system are inextricably linked. This is because the cadastre shows property boundaries and delimits road reserves that are crucial for an addressing system. The main purpose of this paper is to assess the effectiveness of the cadastre system as a basis for implementation of a GIS-based physical addressing system. A recent physical addressing project for Thika, Kiambu and Machakos towns is used as the case study. Specifically, the paper assesses the adequacy of the existing cadastre, seeks to examine factors that affect adequacy of the cadastre system and proposes strategies for improving the cadastre to support implementation of a GIS-based physical addressing system. The three towns were purposively selected as they were used as pilots for the World Bank – Kenya Government programme that aims towards implementation of a national addressing system. The study used both secondary and primary data sources. The secondary data sources involved assessing the existing analogue cadastre for the three towns. The cadastre was transformed to digital format through geo-referencing and digitization. Observation was used as the primary method to verify the status of physical addressing in the three towns. Additionally, key informant interviews were conducted. The study revealed that the existing cadastre in the three towns was prepared using different scales, have different datum, are incomplete and inadequate, and not current to support a digital physical addressing system. Only the main streets are named and have no unique numbering and naming of properties. The paper concludes that the cadastre systems at their current states in the three towns are not effective as a basis of implementing a GIS-based physical addressing system. The paper recommends an inclusive automation of all cadastre records in the three towns. In addition, there is need to develop a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), to support physical addressing.