Residents block Yala swamp's survey

A picture of Lake Kanyabola and Yala swamp in Usenge, Siaya County. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]
Residents of Yala have blocked the inspection of a swamp land, demanding to be included in the process.

The exercise that had been running for the last four months, was  ordered by the National Land Commission (NLC).

The residents have said they want time to engage a private surveyor who will take care of their interests.

The swamp land was previously owned by Calvin Burges of Dominion Farms who left it a year ago.

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The NLC had, in a gazette notice, ordered a fresh survey of the land, after the residents demanded a share of it.

Establish boundaries

According to NLC, the survey process is aimed at establishing boundaries that will determine which parts of the land will be used for farming, and which ones will be set aside for investment.

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The County Government of Siaya was supposed to fund the survey. It has pumped in Sh2.5 million in the process.

Yesterday, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda confirmed that the survey had been stopped. He said communities living in Yimbo and Central Alego wards wanted to be involved.

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"The residents do not trust the surveyor brought by the county. They want their own included in this process," said Mr Ochanda.

Usonga Ward MCA Sylvester Madialo said residents in his ward will seek a registration of their land once the survey process is completed.

No investor

Mr Madialo said in Usonga, no investor had shown interest in that part of the land and so the survey process should not take long.

"Where an investor has been to, like in parts of Central Alego and Yimbo, the survey process has to be handled slowly and carefully. This is because the property rights of the investor must be put into consideration," said Madialo.

County Executive Member for Lands Adrian Ouma said the survey process would resume.

Eng Ouma noted that it was better for the process to take long but be done correctly since land matters were very sensitive.

"The Government has procedures, especially where adopting surveyors is concerned," Ouma said.

"The surveying process is important because land that is meant for community and that which is meant for investment must be demarcated clearly. We will ensure the survey process is completed".

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YalaNLCDominion Farms