After the successful geographic information system (GIS) property survey and database development intervention in Garowe District, Puntland, UN-Habitat Somalia has established a GIS property database for Gardho District. Gardho, like other districts in Puntland, lacks an accurate, up-to-date land and property information system, which is crucial for town planning and revenue collection. UN-Habitat has developed an innovative approach that combines spatial and non-spatial property information for property taxation and urban planning interventions. Such a GIS platform provides reliable information for land-related decision-making processes.
The property survey for the town of Gardho started on 11 March 2012 and was completed on 30 June 2012. The exercise captured up-to-date spatial and non-spatial property information that was previously non-existent in digital format in the municipality records. There are four steps to the GIS process:
- Acquisition of a geo-referenced, high-resolution QuickBird satellite image
- On-screen digitization of the satellite imagery to develop a map of existing buildings, roads, rivers, and other physical infrastructure
- Field survey to verify the existing database and collect attribute information on properties in digital format
- Integration of the attribute data and spatial information to form the geo-database
The property survey shall be developed into a property database indicative of property attributes such as dimensions, occupancy (might not be the owner), property use, and access to utilities such as roads and electricity. The surveyed properties are uniquely hyperlinked to individual photos in the GIS platform, which are useful to the municipal staff for ground property identification and database verification from time to time. After verification of the database by the municipal staff and linking the correct bill to the right property, the database shall be used to generate annual tax bills to be delivered to each property or household unit.
The database shall further be used to delineate administrative boundaries and perform land use functions such as land cover analysis for intelligent decision making and priority assessment of infrastructure development.