Pastoral communities in Northern Kenya are pleading with their County Governments to allocate resources for community land sensitization and acquisition of title deeds.
The community group ranches drawn from Isiolo, Marsabit, Samburu and Laikipia counties met in Laikipia North, in an event organized by Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) which campaigns for land rights among pastoralist communities.
They discussed and shared the challenges they are facing regarding communal land registration and acquisition of title deeds.
Since the enactment of the Community Lands Act of 2016, less than ten community group ranches have received the title deeds.
In Laikipia, only two are registered, for instance Ilgw’esi community land measuring 8,675 hectares and Mosul 2,646 hectares respectively. All in Laikipia North Sub- County.
Speaking at the event, Abdi Rahman Osman, Isiolo resident, urged the government to prioritize land registration.
“We plead for communal land sensitization to start immediately so that people can be informed. It will help the pastoral community to have personal responsibility and be part of helping the government to speed up the land registration process,” Osman pleaded.
Daniel Leleina, Samburu County resident, urged community land owners to engage relevant government authorities to avoid falling into prey on land cartels.
“We have to involve the Land Registrar and Community Land Management Committees. Update them on the processes we are undertaking. Failure to which we may end up in the wrong hands. There is a lot of corruption on land issues,” Leleina noted.
Timothy Larpei said pastoralist communities’ further need to be educated on land registration since they are in a dilemma to register their land as Constituency, Location or Ward.
“Community group ranches are confused on how to register their lands. There is a lot of debate going on. We hope administrative and political leaders will help since there is data available,” Larpei said.
He added, subdividing huge chunks of lands into smaller units will help in administration and land management.
They noted communities have not been sensitized on gender sensitivity, including the marginalised as members of community ranches.
Last October, Lands Cabinet Secretary (CS), Farida Karoney, had said that during the 2020-21 Financial Year, the Ministry in collaboration and in partnership with state, non-state actors, development partners, the European Union and United Nations, would focus on implementation on the mantra of registration of communities and community land parcels in 347 group ranches and about 60 unregistered community land, as contained in the 12 inventories they had received from counties.
The CS further noted her ministry had sensitized about 25,000 participants through a national programme for public education and awareness creation as required by the law.
“We have been sensitizing communities who own communal tracts of land to be informed on the Act and be equipped on ways to register their land,” Karoney said in a speech read by Samuel Mwati, Director in the Land Ministry.