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State allows sisal company to sell 3,000 acres for planned green city

Coast
  The giant Teita Estate Managing Director Philip Kyriaz (far right) showing Lands Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Gideon Mung'aro (in blue shirt) his vast farm in Mwatate Sub County in Taita-Taveta County. [Renson Mnyamwezi, Standard]

Teita Sisal Estate has received the green light to sell at least 3,000 acres of its vast land to private developers.

The government has, however, advised Teita to consider locals first in the planned sale.

The farm’s managing director, Mr Phillip Kyriaz, confirmed yesterday that the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) approved the firm’s master plan on March 4, this year, after meeting all the environmental health, safety and socio-economic concerns.

He revealed that the sub-division of the plots had already been done and locals have six months to buy their 50 by 100 plots at Sh270,000 each and that upon expiry of the deadline, the offer will be open to the public.

“It is now a chance for the locals to buy land and build their residential houses, commercial in phase one. We have talked to banks and Saccos to make arrangements for locals to access funds and the farm has contracted three agents to sell the land on its behalf. Those who will buy will get their title deeds in one week,” declared Kyriaz yesterday.

“We have rejected good offers from three investors from outside to buy all the plots because our main focus is allocating locals first.

“We have sensitised locals to buy the plots first before the October deadline because prices will fluctuate after every three months,” the MD told a stakeholders consultative meeting at a hotel in Mwatate town yesterday.

Kyriaz said the new development of the 3000-acre plot situated along the strategic Voi-Mwatate road will facilitate investment and economic growth for the benefit of the local community in areas of employment.

Records from the Ministry of Lands show that the farm measures about 30,000 acres, including 5,000 acres of conservation area and 25,000 acres under sisal production.

Last December, local leaders and stakeholders validated the strategic environmental assessment report for the firm’s comprehensive mixed land use development master plan that has seen 3,000 acres of land hived off for the implementation of the Smart Green-inter working City in Mwatate town, the county’s headquarters.

He disclosed that the new city flagship project is expected to provide business opportunities, jobs and also support the country’s growth.

The MD said they have involved the local community and leaders, the county and national governments because the proposed new green city has huge economic potential.

Kyriaz said under the first phase of the city, the firm will procure solar panels from China and construct underground water tanks.

In the second phase, the MD revealed they had already identified 1,000 acres of land for the new Mwatate City.

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