Over 50 women, youth and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) from marginalized ethnic minority communities have undergone a one-day training to sensitize them on land registration processes and various land systems to address emerging issues on land rights in a bid to empower the community.
Christine Kandie, Executive director of Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (EIWEN) a community-based organization (CBO) in Baringo county who spearheaded the training at the Irong’ Community Conservancy in Mochongoi ward, Baringo South sub-county on Saturday urged residents to build resilience to be informed on land rights to secure land ownership.
“We aim to empower women, youth and PWDs on community land registration to secure land rights and we expect them to get community recognition and land ownership documents to demonstrate that they are empowered and actively introduce measures towards sustainable use of natural resources,” Kandie said.
James Kimaru a senior warden at Lake Bogoria National Reserve lauded the CBO for working closely with stakeholders in creating awareness on issues pertaining to community empowerment on land issues and human rights citing that the natural resources in the sub-county are sources of employment for Endorois community as well as a source of revenue to the county.
“We are distributing cheques for bursaries to assist vulnerable and needy children in the area around the lake to give back to the community in order for them to have ownership of this natural resource and improve livelihood and empower youth, women and PWDs,” Kimaru said.
Land utilization, he added, was a major challenge but through collaboration with the National Land Board, they have been able to sensitize residents to avoid selling land and utilize it for future generations.
Lawrence Kiplagat is a project coordinator for Kerio Valley Community organization which advocates for community specifically on land rights including environmental degradation, climate change, women empowerment and urges the community to take up matters of land to be on the forefront in conservation.
“The Community Land Act (CLA 2016) aims to pave the way for the historically marginalized to legally claim, own and manage community land. It also indicates that conservancies and group ranches should be registered as community land so that the entire population benefits. Therefore, I call upon the leadership of the county to have an inventory of community land in order to safeguard the livelihoods of communities,” Kiplagat said.
Lucy Chepchieng, a resident of the area thanked EIWEN for its initiative in training the Endorois community on land rights saying that they had gained knowledge on land and natural resource governance.
She expressed hope that after the training, they will be able to demonstrate that they are empowered to strengthen community members and collectively make informed decisions.
By Caroline Cherono