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Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.
Taita-Taveta County government is formulating policies, laws and regulations that will ensure residents bordering private farms access the fields for their animals to graze.

Apart from accessing grazing rights, the residents will also accrue direct and indirect benefits from these vast ranches.

Private farms constitute a total of 86 per cent of the total land area in the region. The farmers, among them ranches, have been accruing millions of shillings from carbon credit and gemstone mining with no corporate social responsibility.

The policies come after pressure from locals. They want the county and national governments to revert the private lands, which they claim were illegally acquired, to the local community.

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Locals have consistently been complaining that they live like squatters on their own land, which had been allocated to outsiders.

Frequent invasions into these ranches by the local communities have been a great source of conflict between them and management of these farms in the recent past.

In a move aimed at defusing tension and minimising conflict in the region, Lands and Mining Executive Mwandawiro Mghanga disclosed that the regulations will be tabled in the assembly this week for debate and approval or rejection.

"The policies, once passed by the assembly, will ensure the county government plays a regulatory role for all the over 30 ranches in the region," said Mwandawiro.

The former Wundanyi MP pointed out that under the policies, the county administration will accrue direct and indirect economic benefits from all the ranches.

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Taita-Taveta Granton Samboja.
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