County governments urged to register community lands

Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney at a past event.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has urged counties which have community lands to submit their inventories so as to speed up their registration process as required by the Community Land Act (2016).

Ms Karoney said only 12 counties have submitted inventories of their respective unregistered community lands in readiness for the registration process as enshrined in the law.

The ministry, in partnership with the National Lands Commission (NLC) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) funded by the European Union, is working with 24 county governments that have unregistered community land in the country.

"I challenge the remaining 12 county governments , in consultation with their communities, to expedite the process of submitting inventory of unregistered community lands within their jurisdiction to fast-track registration," Ms Karoney.

The CS spoke in Nanyuki town on Friday in a speech read on her behalf by Samuel Mwati from the Ministry of Lands, during the issuance of title deeds to two community lands based in Laikipia North constituency.

Chairpersons of the two community lands, Mr Kip Olepolos (Il Ngwesi) and Mr Tom Putunoi (Musul), received title deeds for their lands measuring 8,675.5 and 2,646 Hectares respectively.

"Today, we celebrate the two communities in Laikipia county, Il Ngwesi and Musul, which have walked the journey and successfully registered their community lands," Ms Karoney said.

"I challenge all of us present here, to continue with the same spirit to ensure that the remaining 11 community lands in Laikipia are registered by the end of the year," she added.

European Union Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue, Food and Agriculture Organization deputy country representative William Hamisi and Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi witnessed the handing over of the title deeds.

Mr Mordue said: "This is a historic occasion because it will enhance transparency in management of the community land and give you your historical rights”.

The Ambassador observed that community lands in other nine counties will soon receive their tittle deeds accordingly.

Mr Mordue said that when President Uhuru Kenyatta was in France last month, he signed a financing agreement with the Kenya government of Sh50 billion, out of which Sh2.5billion will be channelled towards opening up 268 key rural roads in Laikipia County.

The Community Land Act was passed into Law on September 21, 2016 and provides for the recognition, protection and registration of community land rights, management and administration of community land.

The Act further stipulates the role of the county governments in relation to unregistered community land.

According to the Status of Land Reforms 2018, nearly 70 percent of Kenya's total land mass is unregistered.