About 600 residents of Naisoya area in Narok North Sub County have every reason to smile after the government promised to issue them with title deeds within a 60-day period.
Speaking on Wednesday at a public baraza held at Naisoya health centre, Narok County Commissioner (CC), George Natembeya said the government will end the long standing dispute among the members of the community that had derailed the process of land adjudication in the area.
Wrangles over land started way back in 1990 when the Ntutu led Commission put boundaries of the forest land hence evicting people who had settled in 5, 700 hectares of forest land.
A section of residents have been disputing the decision and despite filing a case in court demanding compensation, their petition was dismissed hence paving way for the land officials to adjudicate the remaining 7, 500 hectares that they owned legally.
“If anyone is still dreaming of going back to the forest land, he or she is completely misguided because the government will never allow that. We are in the process of putting up an electric fence around the forest in a bid to keep off trespassers from the forest,” he said.
Natembeya also blamed the spiritual leaders in the area for misleading the residents in demanding compensation; most of the land committee members were pastors and church elders.
“I am shocked that most of the people who are advocating for people to go back to the forest land are spiritual leaders, what kind of leaders are these who are not even kind to their environment. Instead, they should be helping us (the government) educate locals on the importance of conserving the forest,” said Natembeya.
The land that sits adjacent to Maasai Mau forest and is less than 30 kilometers from Narok town is one of the major food baskets of the county as wheat, maize, beans and potatoes do well in the area.
The Narok County Adjudication Officer, Amos Musyoka asked the residents to visit his office to verify their names in the register before the title deeds are processed.
“We are ready to serve you so that you can acquire your land title deeds, but for a long time, our efforts have been crippled by the community who oppose every move we make demanding the forest land to be part of the community land,” said Musyoka.
Last year, the government evicted about 7, 200 people from Kosia part of Maasai Mau forest reclaiming 4,500 hectares of forest land.
By Ann Salaton