KNA Land issues in Taita Taveta County will be a thing of the past if the National Land Commission (NLC) makes good its promise to address the thorny matter.
Speaking at the governor’s office in Mwatate, NLC’s chairperson, Gershom Otachi confirmed that the commission was aware of the many land issues in the county and was tirelessly working to resolve them amicably for residents’ benefits.
“We are not blind to the land problems in Taita Taveta. We are relentlessly working on solutions to amicably solve the issues once and for all to the benefit of the locals,” stated Mr. Otachi.
During the meeting with NLC officials, Governor Granton Samboja reiterated the county’s administration stance on the Machungwani land, whose lease, he added would not be renewed.
“The Machunwani land lease is a closed case. The land will revert back to the community for the economic benefit of the locals,” Governor Samboja said.
Taita Taveta has been dogged by perennial wrangles of landlessness and land conflicts since independence.
The two Tsavo national parks claim a lion’s share of the land at 62 percent followed by the 28 ranches that sit on 1.1 million acres. Some of the ranches have converted to conservancies. Only part of the remaining land is arable with the rest being hills and slopes.
In efforts to solve the endless land problems in Taita Taveta, the National Government through the National Assembly established the Community Lands Act 2016, which will see the smooth transition of ranches with expired leases to local communities.
And to address the human/wildlife conflicts, the National Government through the Kenya Wildlife Service was undertaking a mega fencing project around the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks.