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Title Deeds Help to End Land Conflict in Nakuru

Title Deeds Help to End Land Conflict in Nakuru

For decades,
Nakuru County has witnessed vicious land disputes that have sometimes turned
bloody.

Land
conflicts in areas like Naivasha, Njoro, Rongai,Gilgil, Bahati, Molo and
Kuresoi South have in the past led to deaths of dozens of people. Many of the
expansive parcels of land in the region, which were allocated to internally
displaced persons (IDPs) , have witnessed persistent ownership wrangles. Some
of the cases, which involve double allocation, have resulted in a litany of
court cases.

However, the
county government’s partnership with the Ministry of Lands and the National
Land Commission (NLC) has resulted in the issuance of hundreds of title deeds,
thus reducing the conflicts.

In the past
month, for instance, some 70,000 residents have been issued with the vital
documents in the titling exercise initiated by President Kenyatta two years
ago. Governor Lee Kinyanjui said, a further 20,000 title deeds will be issued
to landowners in Mai Mahiu, Longonot, Kabatini, Githioro and Dundori areas by
June.

Other
beneficiaries will be residents of Polepole. Salgaa. Muchorwe and Kibunja
villages within Subukia, Rongai, Kuresoi South and Molo sub-counties,
respectively.

The issuance
of the title deeds in Nakuru has helped put to rest incessant land conflicts.
This has spurred development in regions where conflicts were the order of the
day” the governor said. “Currently, we are working closely with the
national government to oversee the issuance of 3.000 land lease rights within
Nakuru City to boost the city’s growth. We have also secured all our public
utilities to protect them from land grabbers.”he added.

Residents
interviewed by the Nation agreed with the governor that title deeds have
reduced land conflicts and enabled them to develop their parcels of land. “The
programme was godsend … Even if I die today I will rest in peace knowing my
children and grandchildren will not be evicted because they have ownership
documents for our land.”Ms Mary Mwangi of Gilgil said.

Mr John
Langat from Elburgon said that. before they were issued with title deeds last
year, they could not develop their land. “We can now use the title deeds
to access loans from banks and other financial institutions for development. “He
said.

Recently
residents of Elburgon Ward received at least 2.891 title deeds under the
programme.

Those who
have been targeted in the issuance of the documents include IDP’s residents of
settlement schemes and land buying companies.

However, the
titling programme has been hampered by the high number of court cases.
Statistics from the courts in the region indicate that at least 50 per cent of
cases involve land disputes.

Title Deeds Issued under the Old Laws To Be Replaced With Titles Under The New Regime

To help
resolve this, the county government, in 2019, launched a programme to train
mediators to help in tackling land disputes and hasten the issuance of title
deeds to residents.

Mr
Kinyanjui, in an interview with the Nation, said that, most land cases have
been solved through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. This, he said, has
ensured the titling programme benefits more residents.

The county
has also stepped up efforts to end conflicts in Naivasha. where disputes over
Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land at Ndabibi have in the past turned
bloody. “We’re working with ADC to identify real beneficiaries with
genuine allotment letters and issue them with title deeds before the end of the
year. “Mr KinyanJuli said.

The county
has also formed a team to help resolve the 41-year Oljorai land dispute that
has claimed scores of lives in the county



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