Land owners bordering LAPSSET express fear over land grabbing


Lamu, KENYA: Land owners around the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) Corridor project in Kililana and Mashunduani areas, have asked the new Lamu County government to coordinate with the National Lands Commission (NLC) and ensure they speedily allocate them title deeds for their lands.

Speaking at Mokowe trading centre on Tuesday, the locals, more especially those whose land border the LAPSSET project said in the recent days, their lands have become a major target by tycoons flocking to the area daily.

They expressed worry that their lands might be easily grabbed by the tycoons if the county government and NLC will not speed up the issuance of title deeds to the rightful owners of the lands in the mentioned areas.

The land owners’ spokesperson Mr Abdalla Kombo said they believe issuance of title deeds for their lands will enable them to secure such lands from the grabbers.

They also said they were afraid the LAPSSET contractors would ‘accidentally’ invade their lands.

“ We are worried because we know many tycoons now have an interest in acquiring lands at the Lapsset and they will do anything for that including grabbing our lands. We also fear those building the port might stray into our lands after all we have nothing to prove ownership with,” said Mr Kombo.

On her side, Ms Esha Haidar expressed confidence that the new land use plan that the new county government of Lamu under Governor Fahim Twaha promised to introduce, will completely solve the current land related challenges faced in the county.

The governor also pledged to ensure squatters in the county are resettled and accorded title deeds to enable them live comfortable and productive lives.

“Our governor promised to ensure there is proper land demarcation and use in Lamu. He told us that he would ensure lands for industrial parks, resort cities, airports, farms and residential places are set aside for that matter. I believe once that happens there will be no land related conflicts even at the Lapsset and any other places surrounding mega projects in Lamu,” said Ms Haidar.