Thousands of residents in Kuresoi South, Nakuru county, have a reason to smile as the government lifted a caveat that had been imposed on the land over two decades ago.
Lands CS Zack Njeru and Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika held met stakeholders and landowners at the county headquarters on Friday.
Kihika commended the government for this action, emphasising that the areas under caveat had been left behind, depriving residents of the right to make meaningful investments in their parcels of land.
"It is critical for our people to gain legal ownership of their land. During the years when the caveat was in place, even the farmers were unable to plan farming activities with confidence," said Kihika.
The lifting of the caveat is seen as the opening of a door to the development of the area, with families now expected to utilise their titles to enhance their livelihoods.
"People have held titles that were of no use to them. They will now have the ability to secure bank loans to improve their lives using these title deeds," said Kihika.
The areas where the caveat has been lifted include Ambusket, Chepakundi, Kiptagich, Cheptuech, and KTDA, all situated within Kuresoi South.
A total of 35,301 hectares, spanning Kuresoi North, Kuresoi South, Njoro, and Molo constituencies, were separated from the Eastern Mau Forest in 2001.
"We are now requesting that caveats in Njoro, Molo, and other areas neighbouring Mau Forest be also lifted, and a clear-cut line is established," added Kihika.
During the meeting, Kihika said they discussed several issues, including double allocation of land, accessibility to the land registry, and the absence of titles in settlement schemes.
"We are grateful for the additional lands registries in Gilgil and Molo. These will bring services closer to the people and expedite the resolution of protracted land disputes in the county," said Kihika.
Some of the land disputes, such as those involving Lari Nyakinyua, Solai Ruyobei, and Oljorai land-buying companies, have persisted for over three decades now.
However, the governor expressed confidence that the appointment of the Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretaries at the Ministry of Lands from Nakuru would lead to the resolution of these disputes.
"Nakuru had been overlooked by successive governments in ministerial appointments. The current administration listened to our plea and appointed our own sons to the ministry, and they have delivered results in record time," added Kihika.
The caveat was imposed by the national government as part of an effort to establish human settlement schemes in response to the expanding population.
A section of the residents had encroached on land reserved for the water tower.