Kwale residents urged to secure their lands using title deeds

President Uhuru Kenyatta issuing title deeds during a past exercise.Lands PS Nicholas Muraguri has said that 8,000 title deeds from Kwale county lie uncollected PHOTO FILE

Kwale, KENYA: Kwale residents have been urged to make an effort to acquire their own title deeds to avoid cases of land disputes.

Addressing the residents of Mazumalume on Friday at Matuga sub-county, Kwale deputy county commissioner Dennis Barasa insisted locals should seek title deeds arguing that it is the only way to gain ownership of their lands.

This comes at a time when the residents of Mazumalume expressed fears that they could lose their ancestral land to some private developers who have shown interest in the land.

The locals said that they inherited the land from their forefathers hence they would not afford to lose it.

“The only way to guarantee security for your land is to have a title deed that would prevent the developers from taking over your land,” said Barasa adding that the locals would be at liberty to cultivate at their own land which would, in turn, improve their living standards.

He further stated that the possession of a title deed is vital because it gives one the courage and confidence to live comfortably.

“You can never live in fear when you have your own title deed no matter how many times someone tries to intimidate you. I, therefore, implore you to take a step and obtain title deeds to protect your land,” said Barasa.

He asked locals to avoid violence that results from land issues and instead use peaceful ways that comply with the law to solve land disputes.

For decades, the coastal region has been a hotspot for land dispute issues with successive governments using the issue as a campaign tool.

In 2009, a land survey report carried out by the Ministry of Lands during the now Makueni governor professor Kibutha Kibawana’s tenure, Kwale county was the third leading county where residents were living on lands without title deeds.

According to the report, 24,551 acres of land in Kwale county was without title deeds, the highest being Mombasa at 51,651 and Kilifi at 26,124.