Kirinyaga county government commences titling of 11 colonial villages for inhabitants
The County Government of Kirinyaga has commenced the process of land tenure regularization for inhabitants of 11 select villages previously designated as colonial villages.
Approximately a total of 91.2 hectares will be surveyed and titles issued to the inhabitants who have been living as squatters.
The 11 villages are part of 149 colonial villages in the county that have dire need for tenure regularization.
World Bank (WB) and Agence Française de Development (AFD) is supporting the initiative of the County Department of Lands, physical Planning and Urban Development through National Government’s Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Program (KISIP II) to plan, survey and issue title deeds.
The earmarked informal settlements are Rwambiti, Kimunye, Ithareini, Mukinduri, Kibirigwi, Kiangoma, Thiguku, Kagumo, Kamuiru, Ndindiruku and Githogondo.
Governor Anne Waiguru says the regularization will provide security of tenure for hundreds of residents who from time immemorial have not been able to carry out any meaningful development on the land due to lack of land ownership documents.
Waiguru has pledged support for the full implementation of KISIP programme in the selected villages which aims at improving living conditions and strengthen security of tenure for inhabitants.
“The ongoing land tenure regularization for people living in the colonial villages is a huge step towards enhancing the quality of life in the informal settlements,” she said.
Waiguru said her administration will fast-track process of issuance of tittle deeds to people living in all the colonial villages once all the processes are concluded.
“The inhabitants of these colonial villages cannot wait any further, we want to give them legal ownership of the land they occupy because it is their right,” Waiguru said.
Already, the National Project Coordination Team (NCPT) and the County Project Coordination Team (CPTC) have undertaken public participation forums in the concerned wards and formed Settlement Executive Committees (SEC) and Grievance Redress committees (GRC) in the 11 villages.
Tenants, landowners, leaders of religious institutions, youth, people living with disabilities, and members of community groups were among the 17 Settlement Executive Committee members instituted to be the bridge between locals and consultant during survey and Planning.
The Governor further said that the County Government has no other
interest than to ensure that all people living in the colonial villages have land ownership documents and are permanently settled.
“We will ensure the process is done in a fair and transparent manner without further delay because people have waited to get tittle deeds for very long,” the governor said.
The County Executive Committee Member for lands Physical Planning and Urban Development, Rev. Samuel Kanjobe, underscored the need for the elected members to ensure that they put the interest of the people ahead and ensure that the process is steered to conclusion without conflicts.
“Our Governor want this process concluded and tittles issues as soon as possible and therefore I request you put the interest of the people first,” said Kanjobe.
The process also incorporated Members of the County Assembly, Chiefs and Ward Administrators from the eleven settlements who pledged to work together for successful implementation of the settlement program.
Partick Njenga, the Chairman of Ndindiruki village in Mwea said that the residents were settled in the village way back in 1974 but have had no titles ever since. He says that they have been missing out on opportunities that require use of title deeds such as using them as collateral for school fees loans or putting up long time investments.
Ruth Wanjiku from Thiguku village thanked the County Government for initiating the process of enabling them own their lands legally. She said that they will now it will be easy for parents wishing to subdivide their lands among their children to do so.
David Muriuki from Rwambiti village also applauded the process that he said will be of great relief to the residents. He said that having not title deed has been an impediment for smooth inheritance process where owners are deceased. Jacinta Wairimu from the same village termed the land titling as a great milestone that will now give them security that comes with land ownership. She thanked Governor Waiguru for the initiative which she termed historic.