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Loita land to be demarcated finally

Residents of Loita area in Narok South Sub County can now breathe a sigh of relief after the state embarked on the process of demarcating their land, ending years of living on the communal land.

The area Deputy County Commissioner Felix Kisalu said five group ranches namely Morijo, Endersigira, Omesuti, Oroote and Ilkirin had been formed and the process of listing the beneficiaries is ongoing.

“The law requires the formation of the group ranches that will help in identifying members who will benefit from the land ownership. The process is moving on smoothly and we expect it to be complete by the end of the year,” said Kisalu.

The deputy county commissioner noted that they are working closely with the Kenya Water Agency, county governments and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to establish the water catchment areas that will be reserved for the government.

“We want to establish the clear forest cutline so as to protect Loita Forest that is a major water catchment land in the area. The surveyors are already on the ground to establish the extent of the forestland,” he continued.

Loita land has had conflict for over 20 years with residents differing on the manner of its subdivision, while others on the other hand were totally opposed to any attempts on demarcation.

“However, we have held meetings with the village elders, other stakeholders and we have all agreed to demarcate the land so that the beneficiaries can get their legal title deeds,” said Kisalu.

Meanwhile, the only people to benefit from the land are those in the group ranches register who will get equal pieces of land.

“We are encouraging those elected to represent the various group ranches to hold regular meetings with the residents so as to ensure transparency in the process,” added Kisalu.

The deputy county commissioner reiterated that demarcating the land comes with numerous benefits like attracting investors, adding that having legal title deeds on individual land will in the long run reduce boundary conflicts.

“I want to encourage every resident to cooperate with the government officials on the ground so as to hasten the process. I want this to be a very transparent exercise and I do not expect any disputes thereafter,” reiterated Kisalu.

Loita land is one of the rich agriculture lands in the county but has remained largely unutilized for years because it remained communal land.

However, after the demarcation exercise, the area is expected to attract investors who will build industries and do large scale farming on the fertile lands, thus creating job opportunities for the locals as well as improving infrastructure in the area.

By Ann Salaton

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