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County to reclaim grabbed fish landing sites

Kwale County government has warned land grabbers eyeing public utility land and fish landing sites.
Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani made the remarks in reference to reports that land set aside for the construction of Tsunza fish landing site in Gandini location, Matuga Sub-county has been grabbed.
The land was allegedly grabbed by a private developer amidst reports of an influx of land speculators in the area since the value of land has shot up because of the construction of the multi-billion Dongo Kundu by-pass project.
Ms. Achani said the county government will do everything possible to ensure the land reverts to the local community and used for the construction of the project whose budget has already been approved.
“All grabbed land meant for public utilities will be recovered and put into the use it was designated for under our leadership with Governor Salim Mvurya,” she said
She added that they will fight tooth and nail in defending the locals’ land rights citing their victory in a protracted court battle with Cortec Mining Kenya Company for the control of mineral resources at Mrima Hills.
The area is said to be rich in Niobium and rare earth minerals, estimated to be worth Sh5.4trillion.
“We won the Mrima case which was heard in London and this only gives us the impetus to continue aggressively defending our people’s land rights,” she added.
She assured residents their rights will not be violated under their reign assuring them that no title deeds will be issued recklessly without full verification to authenticate rightful land ownership.
“We have had rampant land grabbing in this region and hence the need to take precautions to avert cases of illegitimate owners,” she said.
Speaking Monday at Tsunza Medical Centre at an event organised by Children of Africa, Ms Achani urged leaders in the area to avoid politicking at the expense of development.
Kinango Ward Rep Mr. Alfred Bavu expressed fears over the likely downstream effects of the proposed multipurpose Mwache Dam on livelihoods saying it should be implemented with caution.
“If we are not careful, the dam might devastate local communities and fishing activities downstream,” he warned.
By Shaban Omar/James Muchai

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