Over 500 families living in parts of Kodera forest in Homa Bay County could acquire land title deeds should a planned degazettement petition before a parliamentary committee go through.
The affected families live in Lidha and God Agulu areas which form about one-third of the forest with a size of 770 hectares.
The families have been living in the forest for more than 70 years.
But the National Assembly Committee on Environment and Natural Resources has begun the process of deliberating on a petition aimed at de-gazetting the forest reserve
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Kasipul MP Ong’ondo Were who is a member of the committee said they are currently receiving various reports on the matter before it writes a final report the degazettement.
Addressing residents at Dol Kodera Primary School yesterday, Were said a mock survey had been done as part of the process for furnishing the committee with information.
“We have also prepared a list of beneficiaries which will enable the committee to deliberate on the matter to ensure it succeeds,” Were said.
Were said the families had been living in the area for many years without title deeds.
“The families began facing the problem in 1950 the defunct local authority hoodwinked them to relocate temporarily for a project before being evicted,” Were said.
The MP argued that de-gazettement of the forest is the only way to enable the families to own title deeds which they can use for various development programmes.
“These families have lived in the area for many years and they need land title deeds. The only way to help them is to degazette the forest so that one-third of it can be given to the residents,” the MP said.
Last month, Were presented a petition in the National Assembly on behalf of Lidha and God Agulu residents to request for degazettement of Kodera forest reserve.
The National Assembly Speaker committed the report to the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.