36,000 land title deeds are ready to be handed over to Lamu residents by the Lamu County government.
Governor Fahim Twaha stated that the county government was working closely with the national government to fast track the processing of title deeds in a bid to address land management issues in the county.
“The title deeds are ready to be distributed across the county especially in township areas that have already begun to develop and could signal further growth of these areas in terms of valuation and development,” he said.
Earlier this month, the national government under the auspices of the National Titling Programme embarked on the distributing of 1 million title deeds by the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
Speaking to KNA on phone, the governor stated that the government has always been committed towards addressing landlessness and the squatter problem for which he noted Lamu land owners have long suffered.
The areas where beneficiaries of the title deeds will be distributed include; Mpeketoni town, Sinambio town Centre, Kisiwa Cha Pate which is in Witu location, Mkokoni and Vumbe area in Lamu East.
Twaha blamed the long-standing delays in processing title deeds to the transfer of the manual registry to the digital registry that would in turn ensure the processing of title deeds is faster, transparent and more efficient.
“The President has already issued a directive that all titles that have been processed be availed for distribution by July, and it is our expectation that this will alleviate land management in Lamu,” he said.
He stated that Lamu County had already done its part in ensuring that title deeds are processed, illustrating how the two Lands CEC and their Chief Officer have been trooping back and forth to Nairobi every month to ensure that the title deeds are processed.
The governor in a previous interview had indicated that the county government had pegged a target of resettling 20,000 squatters by ensuring they have title deeds within four years.
“It is through the ownership of a title deed that Lamu people can have a sense of pride and value for their land that they can then improve their fortunes, be it in farming, pastoralism or even business,” he added.
“It has been a long journey but hopefully by next month (July), we will be in a position to hand over the title deeds to Lamu residents,” Lands CEC Ahmed Mohamed Hemed stated.
He noted that the process of getting more title deeds for different land schemes in Lamu is already underway, adding that with the digitization of the National Lands Registry, the processing of title deeds would now be much faster.
He further noted that by addressing land management issues in Lamu, farmer-pastoralist conflicts could be reduced significantly.
“The Jubilee administration has had the political will to tackle title deed issues based on the President’s distribution of more than 6.31 million title deeds during his term,” former Lamu Land CEC and current Agriculture CEC Fahima Araphat said.
Lamu County Commissioner Macharia Irungu on his part called on residents to be patient as the national government goes about processing and distributing their titles.
“There is a lot of goodwill right from the Head of State to ensure that the perennial land issues plaguing Lamu are a thing of the past, especially with the operationalization of the Lamu Port,” he added.
By Amenya Ochieng