The Loita people in Narok South Sub County can breathe a sigh of relief after the County Government of Narok announced that it will sponsor the full cost of demarcating the land so that the group ranch members can have individual title deeds.
Narok Governor Patrick Ntutu said only one of the five group ranches in the ward had been subdivided, while the other sections were pending due to a lack of finances.
Ntutu, who spoke in the Entasekera area, however, warned the residents against selling their ancestral land once they received their individual title deeds.
He said the county government will take stringent measures to control the sale of land that will make it impossible for an individual to sell his or her land at ease.
“I am happy because this is the only place I have seen both men and women benefiting from the land, as all men and married women will be given their individual title deeds, “he said.
William Nairuko, who represented the community, said land demarcation was a priority in the area as it would boost the people’s economy.
“Once our land is demarcated, the people will put up permanent structures and industries and compete with other parts of the country,” he said.
The Loita ward is approximately 2000 square kilometers and the only ward in Narok County where the land is owned communally. The group ranches in the area are: Morijo, Entasekera, Ilkerin, Olrote, and Mausa.
The ward is also the home of the great indigenous forest, Loita Forest, which is approximately 300 square kilometers and borders the ward with Kajiado County and straddles the international border with neighbouring Tanzania.
Despite the land being rich in agriculture and natural resources, the people of Loita have remained economically poor due to the high illiteracy levels and poor infrastructure that limit the movement of goods to the market.
The process of demarcating the Loita land vigorously started last year at the Ilkerin group ranch, where title deeds are ready to be issued to the members.
By Ann Salaton