The ministry of lands has kicked off fresh registration of group ranches in Samburu north under the community Land Act 2016 which allows the community to manage their land.
The exercise which is being funded by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) will see the transfer of over 500,000 hectares of unregistered land in Samburu north sub-county, currently being held in trust by the Samburu county government handed over to Community Land Management Committees (CLMC) formed by the respective communities.
Apart from issuing title deeds to previously unregistered land, the lands ministry will also transit over ten registered group ranches that operate under the land representative act of groups to start operating under the community land act 2016 as required by law.
Speaking after overseeing the election of the CLMC for Lesepen and Silalei groups in Ndoto ward, Samburu Land Registrar Charles Aiyeda said that for the land to be registered under the new community land act, the community living in it should elect a fifteen-member committee, while observing the two thirds gender rule after which a certificate of registration will be issued and after fourteen days one title deed for the entire land will be issued.
“The new community land act gives the individuals the right to control their land through the committee with the inclusion of women a thing that was not done in the past. The members also have a say on how natural resources on their land should be used for their benefit,” he said.
Aiyeda said that after the title deed is issued, the CLMC in consultation with community members should come up with their land use plan, which will be put on the map by the county physical planner.
“The land plan establishes where settlement and social amenities such as schools and hospitals should be. The plan should also indicate grazing fields, conservation areas, animal migratory routes and so on,” said the Registrar.
Jane Letora, a resident of Silalei applauded the community land act for including women in the community land management committees saying that will change how land will be managed.
“We have been living like squatters on our own land without being involved in decision making but now we have our say on how to use our land,” she said.
FAO Land Technical Specialist Everlyne Otieno said her organization has been supporting the Samburu county government in putting up systems to support land governance since 2016 and the transition from group ranches to community land is one of their objectives in Samburu county.
“Before the program ends in September, our objective is to register as many communities as possible and ensure the land representative act of groups has been repealed and move to the community land act and ensure as many people if not all transition to community land,” she noted.
Otieno noted that Samburu county is very expansive and getting the community members in one place for the formation of CLMC is a challenge, since they have to trek for long distances.
by Robert Githu