THE BIG SCRAMBLE

Lamu governor warns outsiders scrambling for land

Upcoming mega state projects like the sh.2.5 Million LAPSSET are said to be attracting thousands to the region.

In Summary
  • The governor any land surveys being conducted will give priority to Lamu locals to ensure they acquire land first before anyone else.
  • Land remains a thorny issue for Lamu as a majority of the lands are listed as public. The situation has made land grabbing easy.

Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha has warned outsiders against scrambling for land in the county, saying no single acre in the region has no ownership.

Twaha said there has been an increase in the number of people flocking Lamu from other counties seeking to have a piece of it, especially in areas earmarked for mega national projects such as the new port project in Hindi, Lamu West.

The Sh2.5 Trillion Lapsset project is expected to increase trade and industrialisation among other sectors in the region.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to commission the first berth later this month to allow for official business to commence.

The situation has seen a huge influx of people coming into Lamu seeking to acquire land.

Addressing locals at Bobo village in Hindi division on Sunday, the governor said any land surveys being conducted will give priority to Lamu locals to ensure they acquire land first before anyone else.

Twaha cited the recent survey of the Swahili Scheme that saw over 15,000 people from all over Kenya rush to Lamu in a bid to acquire a piece of land at the location.

 

Land remains a thorny issue for Lamu as many parcellas are listed as public. The situation has made land grabbing easy.

Twaha said there is need for the people of Lamu to be respected and allowed to own land in the region first due to the immense suffering they have gone through over the same.

“The land people now see here were once forests infested with all manner of dangerous animals. Our people have done a lot to turn the same into lands that people now salivate over. Before then, no one would have wanted land here but now because of the LAPSSET, everyone now wants a piece of Lamu. It won’t happen,” said Twaha.

Twaha said the objective of the county government is to ensure at least 5000 titles are issued to locals each year.

“When I took over office, I pledged that 5,000 people will receive title deeds each year. My plan is that by the time my term ends, at least 20, 000 to own deeds to their lands,” said Twaha.

At the same event, Hindi ward rep Anab Hajji appealed to locals to stop selling off their lands at ridiculous prices just to buy motorcycles for the boda boda business.

There has been a trend where locals even exchange their lands for motorcycles.

Leaders are worried that the situation will add to an already bloated squatter population in the region.

“It’s not fair that the county government is attempting to resolve the issue of landlessness while the same people are the ones selling off their lands for a motorcycle. These lands can help you pay your children’s school fees in the future and so forth,”Hajji said.