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Implementation of Land value index to tame fraudsters

Establishing the correct land price values for various geographical regions in Nyamira County will help curb unscrupulous speculators from exploiting residents who want to make land transactions.

The Director of Complains and Administration in the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning Mr. Joel Iluve has stated that most residents in Kenya engaged in land transaction deals without proper knowledge on the real value of the piece of land in question and ended up being swindled by unscrupulous dealers or even unnecessarily overpricing others.

The director made this statement in Nyamira, while coordinating a public participation forum to sensitize citizens on land value index for various geographical areas within Nyamira County and the importance of knowing the exact value of the piece to be sold or bought.

“The land value (amendment) Act 2019 directs that monetary value be allocated to land in the entire country so that it is easy for people to undertake land transactions with clear information on the value of land to be transacted to avoid unforeseen conflicts and disagreement because land issues are very emotive because of its scarcity nature,” Iluve explained.

He further said that government’s infrastructural development projects like roads, railways, internet connectivity cables, utility service-lines compelled government to acquire land from private owners or compensate displaced people. They therefore needed to know the exact value of land they want to acquire to enable them budget appropriately and curb unnecessary exaggeration of prices.

“The land value index will guide estranged families to equitably distribute assets and liabilities of their deceased kin so that none of the parties will complain that they were disadvantaged. It will also improve accuracy of valuation and enhance efficiency in the mortgage lending sector to reduce risks occasioned by business fluctuation cycles,” the Director noted.

A valuer from the Ministry of Lands and Physical planning Mr. Gregory Masika told residents that several factors determined the value of land in a particular geographical area within a particular time which includes infrastructural development, land use, its zoning and use regulations, geographical conditions and administrative service issues.

“Pieces of land near advanced infrastructural development like roads, electricity, and sewerage systems are valued differently to those in rural agricultural areas, and even those with sloppy, swampy terrains are valued in accordance with their geographical landscape,” Masika clarified.

According to land valuers, land value index for Nyamira Town is averagely Sh14 million because it is categorized as a majorly commercial area in the county with all social and administrative amenities accessible and fairly flat terrain compared to Keroka town whose average value is Sh8 million. Despite being accessible to all social and administrative amenities, the largest part of it terrain is sloppy.

Upcoming infrastructural projects in the County like the construction of a state of the art stadium in Magwagwa, an air strip at Manga, an ultramodern sports academy at Manga, an industrial park at Sironga, and multi-billion specialized eye hospital at Nyamwetureko will definitely affect the land value index upwards with time.

By Deborah Bochere

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