State seeks end to land woes, set to build 3,000 affordable houses

Lands Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru and Lamu Deputy County Commissioner Charles Kitheka work on implimentation of President William Ruto's order to settle land disputes in the county. [Philip Makio, Standard]

The State has moved to resolve perennial land problems in Lamu County blamed for the recent surge in cases of insecurity in the area.

In the plan, the government will also build 3,000 affordable housing units in the county to pave way for the growth of the county.

Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru, said this will attract investors to the county.

He said President William Ruto's administration will rollout "quick and amicable solutions" to end cases of land grabbing, landlessness and squatters problem in Lamu.

Njeru spoke on Friday in Mokowe, Lamu, while concluding his two-day visit to the county where he held consultations with local leaders including Governor Issa Timamy.

The consultations with the leaders and meetings with locals in several locations including Witu and Hindi is aimed at setting up a framework for addressing land management challenges that have been a perennial problem in the region since independence.

"There is a lot of political goodwill especially from the president in seeing that a resolution is arrived at to ensure that land issues stemming from land invasions, landlessness and the squatter problem is resolved in Lamu," the CS said.

Njeru said the government's intervention is aimed at positioning Lamu as an attractive business hub in readiness for the investments that the Lamu Port will attract.

"In resolving the land issues in Lamu, the county will signal that it is committed to attracting investors as well as complimenting the national government's agenda for building 3,000 affordable housing units in Lamu," said the CS.

He directed Department of Lands and Physical Planning officials in the county to perform their duties diligently and fairly especially in the issue of title deeds

The CS further urged politicians and other local leaders to work together in an objective manner in resolving land issues. He assured residents that the National Government is committed in working together with the County Government in resolving land issues.

He said the National government intends to complete the digitisation of land records in 2024 in a bid to streamline land management within the country.

The CS was accompanied by Lamu elected leaders led by Issa Timamy (Governor), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West MP), Captain Ruweida Obo (Lamu East MP), Lamu Woman Rep Monica Marubu and Shakila Abdalla (Nominated Senator).

Governor Timamy echoed Njeru's sentiments that his administration is committed to addressing the land problems affecting the county.

"With land being a devolved function, the resolution for land problems will eventually come from the County Government since we are the ones who are closest to the affected mwananchi," Timamy said.

Marubu urged the national and county governments to work fast in coming up with land management solutions that would aid in fostering peace in the county.