Twaha among sand dunes land “grabbers” summoned by NLC

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Lamu, KENYA: The National Lands Commission-NLC has advertised names of individuals required to appear before the commission to show cause why their parcels of land acquired at the Sand dunes in Shella and Kipungani in Lamu should not be revoked.

In a newspaper advertisement on Wednesday 22nd, the NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri issued a notice of inquiry to over 100 people to appear before the commission on 1st and 2nd March with documents supporting their ownership of the said lands failure to which the commission shall proceed with the revocation.

The sand dunes at Shella and Kipungani are the only fresh water reservoirs serving over 6000 residents of Lamu Island.

Swazuri had earlier on warned that the dunes being the only source of fresh water, should not be interfered with and directed those who had grabbed and put up residential houses on the water catchment areas to leave voluntarily or be forced out.

Swazuri said the agency was working with the Water Resource Management Authority to ensure all water towers in Lamu are conserved.

The NLC chair explained that according to scientists, construction on sand dunes destroys the filters which separate the clean water from the salty ocean water, thus residents cannot access clean drinking water.

Lamu Island has been inhabited for almost 1, 000 years due to the availability of water, but that is under threat since the only water catchment has been degraded by the grabbers who are putting up developments.

An former MP in the county who is among those listed as grabbers has been previously quoted saying that just as the Lamu port land owners were paid, the Shella-Kipungani people must be paid if their land will be taken for water catchment rehabilitation.

Among those listed to appear before the commission are Lamu gubernatorial aspirant Fahim Twaha,former Lamu West Mp Omar Twalib and Mombasa Tycoon the late Twahir Said commonly known as T.S.S.

The defunct county council of Lamu has also been implicated and is expected to be represented before the commission.

County executives,MCAs and chiefs are also among those summoned.

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