A 36-year quest for land ownership documents by residents of Gilgil Sub-County in Nakuru will come to an end after the Nakuru County Government pledged to work with the National Government to fast-track the process of issuance of title deeds in the area.
County Executive Member (CECM) in charge of Lands, Physical Planning, Housing and Urban Development John Kihagi said a team of officials from the county’s Lands Department and the National Lands Commission had been formed to expedite the processing of the title deeds.
While regretting that more than 200 families from Kiungururia Center within Eburru Mbaruk Ward had for a long time been unable to develop the area due to lack of loans collateral, Kihagi assured that the County Government was committed to ensuring they get the ownership documents the soonest.
“There is a growing concern over lack of security of tenure from residents, but we are racing against time to unlock the backlog in title deeds issuance,” said Kihagi.
The CECM said issuance of title deeds will offer security of land tenure that was critical in opening up the area for commercial ventures and other personal development.
Kihagi who spoke after meeting members of Kiungururia B -Block 3 Kiambogo Land Buying Company noted that the area had lagged behind owing to informal occupation of land by locals as they could not leverage on economic growth due to lack of relevant documents.
He lamented that lack of development in the area had not only affected the residents but was also a constraint in terms of growth to the county.
The center is said to have turned into a slum due to the semi-permanent houses built there as the owners could not construct permanent ones due to lack of ownership documents.
Nakuru hosts numerous settlement schemes established shortly after independence. Until the late 1990s, a majority of the beneficiaries only held allotment letters.
Prolonged disputes and lack of proper organizational structure, Kihagi said had remained a major challenge on the resident’s clamour for the legal documents with many petitions being filed in court.
Among them is a petition from the disputed Ndabibi Farm residents who are said to have acquired it through purchase or as a retirement gift from Agricultural Development Corporation in the 1990s.
Kihagi indicated that due to many land cases pending in courts, the County government had trained mediators to help resolve the disputes and hasten the issuance of title deeds to residents.
He said most land cases could be solved through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms as opposed to filing court cases. This, he said, will ensure the ongoing titling programme benefits more residents.
Statistics from the courts in the region indicate that at least 50 percent of cases are land-related.
Members of Kiungururia B -Block 3 Kiambogo Land Buying Company led by the company chairman John Githui said for a long time they felt neglected with no road or any meaningful development in the Center.
He said the roads that connects the area are still the same as the colonialists left them.
By Esther Mwangi.