The planned construction of over 2,000 low cost houses in Naivasha by World Bank (WB) has received a major boost after the earmarked land, which had changed hands to a private developer was returned to the Nakuru County government.
Two traders who had bought the controversial land have agreed to hand over the 35 acres to the county on promise that they will be allocated another parcel by the national government.
The traders and the county agreed an out of court settlement with a case pending at the Nakuru High Court set to be withdrawn.
This follows the intervention of the national government in the issue where the traders legally obtained the land located near the Naivasha slaughterhouse.
While on a tour of Naivasha, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said that the move would allow the construction of the houses.
He said that the county was keen to reclaim other land that belonged to former municipal and county councils that had been allocated to private individuals.
“Am happy to announce that the land which had been set aside for the construction of the low cost houses has been returned to the county,” he said.
The governor also announced that a section of land at Naivasha sub-county hospital had been grabbed by some traders noting that it was a matter of time before they regained it.
One of the traders Sam Kimani who had acquired the land set for housing admitted that they had agreed to surrender the documents to the county.
The trader added that they had agreed that the national government would reallocate them another land as part of the deal so as to allow the housing project to commence.
“The county had taken us to court but we had all legal documents showing that we own the land but we have since agreed to hand over the land back to the county,” he said.
Under the project, the WB is to construct 2,160 housing units in conjunction with the county government targeting middle-income earners.
The houses that will be constructed in three phases are set to be located near the current Naivasha slaughterhouse which will be relocated to pave way of the project.
The county government has already appointed a six man team that will work with WB during the implementation of the multi-billion project.
In a letter signed by the county secretary and head of public service Benjamin Njoroge, the team will be led by Judyleah Waihenya who is the Chief Officer in charge of Land.
Others are John Kamau (Housing), Isaac Kibaara (Architect), Joyce Nyambura (Trade), Moses Jerono (Technical advisor) and Maureen Litunda (county attorney).