Turkana community in Isiolo wants land adjudication halted

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[Source: Daily Nation, by Waweru Wairimu]

Members of the Turkana community living in Isiolo have demanded the revocation of the legal notice establishing the county as an adjudication area.

The hundreds of residents who converged at Game in Burat Ward, insisted that there was no adequate public participation before notice by Land Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney was issued in August 2019.

The locals from Akadeli, Leparua, Ngaremara, Kipsing, Aramach and Aremiet maintained that they are not opposed to titling but want the process done afresh in line with the Community Land Act, 2016.

Ms Celina Aspital said the adjudication process should be stopped until the pending cases in court, including one filed by residents against the October 2019 eviction by military, are heard and determined.

Areas excluded from the adjudication are Isiolo Township, Resort City, Lapsset corridor route, Kenya Defence Forces School of Infantry and Combat Engineering, national game reserves and holding grounds.

Mr Stephen Lobenyo said protection of the disputed land, including that claimed by the military, continues to create unease among residents who fear they will be ejected from their ancestral land and lose their inheritance to unscrupulous individuals.

At the same time, Mr Anthony Chepriko complained that they are not aware of the areas where the Lapsset project will pass through and maintained that residents must be fully involved so that those affected are compensated before work begins.

The notice has widened the rift between Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti and five local MPs who have already moved to court seeking conservatory orders to stop its implementation, terming it illegal,

The MPs have argued that community land adjudication must be driven by the locals and not the county government.

Governor Kuti wants the notice amended so that adjudication is done only in townships and settlement areas while the rest of the land is registered as community land.

Joyce Nairisiae from Elsa Ntirim said thousands of locals would have been evicted from their ancestral land if Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo and Woman Representative Rehema Jaldesa did not move to court to challenge the October eviction notice by the Ministry of Defence.

In his New Year’s speech, Governor Kuti said his administration is working closely with the Ministry of Land and other relevant bodies to ensure that those who will be affected by the Lapsset project are compensated.

He said his administration will continue reaching out to those with divergent opinions so as to reach an amicable and agreeable solution.

[Full article: Daily Nation, by Waweru Wairimu]


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