The first ever land registry in Tana River County since Kenya attained her independence in 1963 has been unveiled in the county by Lands and Physical Planning Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney.
Tana River land owners have been travelling to the neighbouring counties of Kilifi, Lamu and Mombasa for land related services.
Speaking during the launch Wednesday, CS Karoney said President Uhuru Kenyatta has tasked her ministry to work in four key priorities programmes which included the national titling and decentralization programme.
“Tana River is one of the 24 counties with community lands. Seventy per cent of the lands in our country are neither documented nor registered, and most of them are communities land and that is why the national titling and specifically implementation of community land act has become a priority area in our ministry,” added Karoney.
The CS reiterated the import of decentralizing land offices for landowners to get services near them without travelling to nearby counties and Tana River County will be a living example of decentralization of land registries.
“It is disheartening that, 58 years after independence you the people of Tana River are going to neighbouring counties to access the services of the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning,’’ CS Karoney noted.
Admittedly, the CS said the Lands Ministry has had problem before but things were now changing.
“Many Kenyans have shed tears in our Ministry because of what they have gone through and the President has told us that has to change. We want our customers, the land owners of Kenya and investors in our sector, to leave our Ministry with pleasant experiences going forward,” said CS Karoney.
According to the CS, Tana River will be among the 20 counties to be digitized since the new registry is well equipped and residents will enjoy services at the comfort of their homes as they start registering their community lands.
Governor Dhadho Godhana said the land issue in Tana River County since independence has been a thorny and emotive and lauded the move by national government to establish a land registry.
“The land in Tana River has never been registered and therefore the establishment of land registry will significantly reduce the waiting time for title deeds,” said Governor Dhadho.
The land registry has been established with funding from FAO, European Union and Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning.
By Sadik Hassan