The heads of departments in Kiambu County have been urged to equip the Lands Commission with prerequisite documentation on all public utility lands under their jurisdiction to facilitate registration.
The heads are expected to provide additional information on public land to enable the Commission to document and build a comprehensive register of such assets.
The National land commission Head in Kiambu County, Molu Halake said from the records built it will be easier to identify land for government projects such as the Affordable housing.
Making a presentation on the achievements and challenges including result areas in enhancing land governance for sustainable development within Kiambu county Halake noted that land is the most important resource in Kenya as it plays a key role in housing, food security, and nutrition, Industrialization, and urbanization among others.
“The Commission shall continue to identify, verify and document more public institutional land in an effort of coming up with a detailed public institutional land register”, he said during the County Service Delivery meeting at the County Commissioners offices.
He explained that the effort to fast-track public land inventory and recover public institutional land is because the Commission has received several complaints from the public and other institutions on grabbed land.
“90 percent of the received cases on grabbed land have been dealt with and forwarded to the commission for determination while on Historical Land Injustice (HLI) Kiambu office received 61 claims which were forwarded to the head office for further analysis, hearing, and determination”, the County NLC head said.
Halake explained they are in the process of developing a comprehensive public land inventory and database where the commission shall identify public land, and prepare and keep a database of all public land, which shall be geo-referenced and authenticated by the statutory body responsible for survey.
This, he added, shall be done through the evaluation of all parcels of public land based on land capacity classification, land resource mapping consideration, and overall potential use.
“With this data, the Commission shall share it with relevant institutions discharging its respective functions and powers under the Land Act 2012”, Halake said.
Apart from securing grabbed land, the Commission head said they are also together with other stakeholder working towards Enhancing access to alienated and alienated public land for development, renewing leases and extension of the lease, Land Allocation, working on regularization and urban land allocations as well as the compulsory Land Acquisition of Land for Public Projects.
‘Under land projects, we have 18 Government projects in Kiambu County under different acquiring bodies and some have been compensated while others the compensation is ongoing and others are in planning stages of acquisition “, he said
Halake further said that in the spirit of executing the Commission’s key mandate and by the County’s Work plan and performance target, the NLC Kiambu County office has made several achievements toward establishing a comprehensive public land register.
He gave an example of public schools saying the County coordination office have identified within Kiambu a total of 746 schools, 283 Secondary schools, and 463 Primary schools in which 14 of the Secondary schools and 148 of the Primary Schools are titled.
He however noted that the representation of schools within each sub-county still shows that there is work to be done noting that at primary level 141 schools are titled while 319 are not and in the secondary category 14 are titled while 269 are not.
Halake recommended that a joint Committee comprising the National and County Government department of Administration, land, and the Land Commission be established with a clear term of reference including identification, verification, and documentation of public land.
The same Committee, he noted should be able to undertake, receive, hear, and determine disputes on public land including leasehold land.
On Irregularly allocated public land, he added that the Title Deeds should be canceled and the land registered in the name of GOK for Primary schools, Secondary Schools, and the Chief’s camp.
“For parcels allocated to Nursery Schools, Community centers, Green Park, Playing Fields, Open Spaces, Social Centers, Shopping/Trading Centers, Health centers/clinics, Cattle Dip and Police stations, Title Deeds issued to individuals and companies should be canceled and the land registered under County Government of Kiambu”, Kalake said
During the meeting, Deputy County Commissioner Kiambu Titus Macharia said that wananchi should be made more aware on their land rights, the right information when it comes to titling and even on penalties when it comes to grabbing government land.
“We will together with the Sub County Commissioners involve and invite head of departments from land and even government agencies to speak to wananchi during our Baraza’s on what they need to be aware of and what the law says “, Macharia said
The National Land Commission (NLC) was established under Article 67 of the Constitution of Kenya (CoK) 2010. County Coordination office was established in Kiambu County in 2014 and has since been discharging the mandate to deliver services and has oversight mandates concerning land use planning and registration of rights and interests in land as well as contribution to knowledge through research on land and natural resources.
By Wangari Ndirangu