• Wambua said issues of land ownership has been a big challenge in the county.
• The MCA said the dam will play a critical role in ensuring the survival and sustainability of the trees being planted.
Lack of title deeds is to blame for rampant land grabbing in Machakos county, Kinanie MCA Francis Wambua has said.
He said the government should process title deeds for all public lands in the county to tame land grabbers. He said issues of land ownership has been a big challenge in the county.
“Almost 80 per cent of public land in Machakos county has either been encroached on or facing threats of being encroached on by grabbers,” Wambua said.
He spoke during a tree planting drive along Sikia dam in his ward on Monday.
Together with Planet Plus NGO director Sarah Kutahi, they led the community in planting 8,000 trees. Women, youth groups and the elderly joined in the tree planting exercise.
“It’s a conversation that we have had with the county’s lands executive to ensure public land is fully secured and title deeds issued,” Wambua said.
“I appeal to Governor Wavinya Ndeti to move with speed and ensure all public lands in Machakos are secured. This will help end the increasing trends of land grabbing by cartels in the county.”
He said the planting of trees is a continuous drive to make Kinanie ward green. The exercise started in April in Kyumbi where 10,000 trees were planted.
“The exercise that we have undertaken today has seen us plant more than 8,000 trees. This is part of our agenda to make sure we are responsive to climate change in the ward in collaboration with the community,” Wambua said.
He said community raised funds to construct Sikia dam, which is almost complete.
The MCA said the dam will play a critical role in ensuring the survival and sustainability of the trees being planted to help mitigate effects of climate change in the area.
“We are using trees as a way of conserving and protecting the land from grabbers. This is an exercise that will go a long way in ensuring future generations have a place where they can get water for domestic use and for their livestock,” Wambua said.
Wambua said the dam once completed will hold 11 million cubic metres of water capacity. It will provide water to Sikia, Mathatani and Nduluni villages.
Kutahi said as an organisation, they intend to plant 216,000 trees in Machakos, Trans Nzoia, Makueni and Kiambu counties by end of May, 2023.
She encouraged residents to plant fruit trees and macadamia.
“We are encouraging communities to engage in planting trees that will bring economic value to them,” Kutahi said.