Kilifi squatters to get land

Lands CS Farida Karoney (right) and CAS Gideon Mung'aro address squatters at Mikanjuni village in Kilifi County. The government has bought land to settle squatters in Kilifi./COURTESY

At least 1,300 squatter families in Kilifi will soon get land.

The government has begun surveying and adjudicating at Mikanjuni in Kilifi to settle squatters.

The 91 acres parcel of land, which was purchased from private owners, will be used as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s promise to address land issues at the Coast.

Speaking at Mikanjuni, Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said each squatter shall be allocated land where they are currently living.

“There is no standard acreage for allocating the squatters and during the survey we shall make provision for roads, passage ways and small public spaces such as churches, mosques,” she added.

The land CS, who was accompanied by Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro, Kilifi South MP Ken Chonga, Kilifi Woman Representative Gertrude Mbeyu and Kilifi lands executive Maureen Mwagovya and member of county assembly, said the government through the Rapid Response Initiative intends to issue about 80,000 to 90,000 title deeds to squatters in the Coast region by the end of this year.

“Next month, we expect President Kenyatta to issue title deeds to squatters. In Kilifi alone, 23,000 title deeds will be issued, already 17,000 are ready at the land registry and we are waiting for date to issue them out,” said the CS.

According to CS Karoney, there are 23 programs being carried out by the lands ministry countrywide that shall ensure Kenyans own their lands.

“Only 50 percent of land in the country has title deeds, President Kenyatta government is targeting to have at least two-third of the country with a title deed by 2022,” she said.

At the same time, she advised locals to value the land as an important resource and stop selling their land cheaply then end up squatters.

“Coast region has a lot of multibillion projects coming up such as Lapsset, SGR and roads which have increased the land value,” she said adding that “there is need for civic education to tell people the importance of title deed, which can enable one access loan and do business.”

While addressing residents, CS Karoney said it will be a loss to the government to issue title deeds free of charge (tax-free) to squatters who then sell the land then later become squatters.