Tana River: Residents demand for land title deeds
Residents and leaders of Tana River County are calling on the national government to issue them with land title deeds as security for their land.
They claim that lack of the documents was hindering development activities in the vast county which depends on pastoralism and farming.
Area leaders led by Governor Dhadho Godhana, Senator Danson Mungatana and Grasen MP Ali Wario, said that it was now time the County was factored in when it comes to land ownership.
Most land in the County is secured in ranches which hold it in trust for residents and it has for many years a recipe for disagreement and chaos as pastoralists and farmers scramble for resources without recognized boundaries.
“What we are asking for as pastoralists is that we be issued with a joint title deed for the areas that we graze our animals,” one resident said.
Governor Godhana said that the title deeds have been issued in a discriminative manner in the Coast region and Tana River County was the only one that has no single title deed.
“The titles are issued in neighboring areas such as Kitui, Taita Taveta and Lamu but we are always bypassed. I have no land ownership document as a governor,” he said.
Mungatana said that the journey for land registration in the area started a long time ago but nothing has been forthcoming.
“Our grandparents secured this land a long time ago but the problem is that no one owns land legally in this county,” he said.
Kaloleni MP Paul Katana called on the government to resolve the land problems in the Coastal region as a way of ending the politics of land in the area.
The leaders said this at Danisa village in Tana Delta Sub County during a fact-finding visit to the area by Lands Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru, the National Land Commission (NLC) and the parliamentary committee on lands.
Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda wondered how a single ranch in the County had no title deed while Vihiga County which is the same size as the ranch had thousands of title deeds.
“I have been told here a ranch the size of Vihiga County which is 130,000 acres has no title deed while Vihiga County has 130,000 title deeds, this should be resolved so that every Kenyan owns land,” he said.
CS Njeru assured residents that the Kenya Kwanza Government will solve the perennial land problems in the county by providing them with land title deeds.
“We have listened to your issues and I promise that the Kenya Kwanza government will resolve the matter and we shall come back to give you title deeds,” he said.
Lands and Physical Planning PS Nixon Korir said that all ranches will be registered and issued with title deeds.
“We shall issue title deeds to Kone Dertu, Wachu and all other ranches that are yet to be registered,” he said.
Some of the group ranches whose members were represented at the meeting included Kibusu, Kitangale, Idasagodana, Giritu, Wachu, Kone Dertu and Haganda.