Project for 10,000 housing units in limbo as clan now claims targeted land

Kericho Governor Eric Mutai. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

The construction of 10,000 housing units in Kericho County hangs in the balance after a group of squatters claimed a parcel of land at Kevoko Chelimo earmarked for the project. 

The Borowo clan, led by its chairman Richard Langat, has threatened to move to court to block the county government from taking over the land.

According to the clansmen, they were evicted from their ancestral land to create space for multinational tea estates

Langat, who was accompanied by elders, said the clansmen who were evicted from their land to create space for tea estates have not been resettled.

“We as the Borowo clan have decided to move to court to stop the project until the government resettled us. We have been here as squatters for almost 100 years after we were evicted from our ancestral land now occupied by the multinational tea companies,” Langat said.

He said the government should have consulted the community first on land compensation before carrying out the housing project.

Early this year, President William Ruto challenged Governor Eric Mutai to identify land for the project.

Expansion

The move is part of an effort by Kenya Kwanza to implement its pre-election pledge to implement affordable housing as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

During the Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Kericho Green Stadium, President Ruto announced that the government had identified 1,000 acres for the expansion of Kericho town.

“We have already identified 1,000 acres that will be hived off for the expansion of this town. The government will look for alternative land for the affected families. We will ensure that all the families who will be moved to pave the way for expansion are given alternative land,” the president said.

In August, the State Department for Lands and Physical Planning Principal Secretary Nixon Korir visited the area and formed a committee to look into the land issues concerning squatters residing at Kevoko Chelimo.

The committee was tasked to address the issues surrounding land, including coming up with a list of genuine squatters who will be issued with title deeds.

The PS reassured the squatters that once the genuine owners of the parcels of land are established, they will be issued with title deeds.

Korir said the expansive land bordering Kericho town and tea estates will be hived off for the expansion of Kericho town, which includes the housing project.

By AFP 11 hrs ago
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