The Government has embarked on an ambitious effort to resolve the perennial land problems and also construct 3000 affordable housing units in Lamu to pave the way for the growth of the County.
Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary, Zachariah Njeru, said the Government has made it a priority to find quick and amicable solutions to land management issues emanating from land grabbing, landlessness and squatters.
The CS spoke today in Mokowe, Lamu, while concluding his two-day visit to the County where he held consultations with local leaders including Governor Issa Timamy and Members of the County Assembly.
The Cabinet Secretary’s consultations with the leaders and meetings with locals in several locations including Witu and Hindi is aimed at setting up a framework for addressing land management challenges that have been a perennial problem in the region since independence.
The CS said the political goodwill to resolve land problems in the County and the country at large are at an all-time high.
“There is a lot of political goodwill especially from President William Ruto in seeing that a resolution is arrived at to ensure that land issues stemming from land invasions, landlessness and the squatter problem is resolved in Lamu,” the CS said.
CS Njeru said the Government’s intervention is aimed at positioning Lamu as an attractive business hub in readiness for the investments that the Lamu Port will attract.
“Lamu is growing, especially with the coming of the Lamu Port, the LAPSSET infrastructure, coupled by plans to build special economic zones. That informs the need to resolve Lamu’s land issues so that investors can come in without fear of losing out in future,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
“In resolving the land issues in Lamu, the county will signal that it is committed to attracting investors as well as complimenting the national government’s agenda for building 3,000 affordable housing units in Lamu,” said the CS.
He directed Department of Lands and Physical Planning officials in the County to perform their duties diligently and fairly especially in the issue of Title Deeds
The CS further urged politicians and other local leaders to work together in an objective manner in resolving land issues. He assured residents that the National Government is committed in working together with the County Government in resolving land management issues.
The CS said that the National government is set to complete the digitization of land records in 2024 in a bid to streamline land management within the country.
The CS was accompanied by Lamu elected leaders led by the Lamu Governor Issa Timamy, Lamu West and Lamu East MPs Stanley Muthama and Captain Ruweida Obo as well as Lamu Women Representative Monica Marubu and Nominated Senator Shakila Abdalla.
Governor Timamy said that his administration is committed to address the land problems affecting the county.
“With land being a devolved function, the resolution for land problems will eventually come from the County Government since we are the ones who are closest to the affected mwananchi,” Timamy said.
Lamu Women Representative Monica Marubu in her remarks urged the National and County Government to work fast in coming up with land management solutions that would aid in fostering peace in the county.
Nominated Senator Shakila Abdalla called on all leaders to come up with honest solutions when debating the land issues in Lamu in order to foster peace and security.
“Land issues are very emotive and it is high time leaders come together and debate about honest solutions that will address the squatter problem that has plagued indigenous communities in Lamu” she said.
Lamu West Legislator Stanley Muthama on his part called on the local leaders to trust the National Government and the Ministry of Lands to come up with resolutions aimed at tackling landlessness in Lamu.
Lamu County Assembly Speaker Azahar Mbarak in his remarks stated that the 3rd County Assembly will work towards addressing land issues with the county executive adding that the push will be to ensure that the welfare of the landless is addressed.