Kenya: Land Disputes a Major Hitch to Achieving Affordable Housing

6 December 2019

Land ownership disputes are preventing North Rift counties from building affordable houses, one of the pillars in the Jubilee administration's 'Big Four' agenda.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang Thursday acknowledged that and ownership rows had hampered the initiative in is county, which sought to build 10,000 units for middle- income earners in Kapsabet and Nandi Hills towns by 2022.

He said that, since he assumed office in 2017, his administration has been committed to implementing President Uhuru Kenyatta's "Big Four" agenda under an agreement with the National Housing Corporation (NHC).

"However, we have had difficulties finding land not mired in controversy for the project," the county boss said.

He added that the county was happy with the National Land Commission's (NLC) ruling allowing counties to repossess and manage land to settle squatters, and urged the government to ensure the ruling, which gives counties a greater say in land management, is enforced. .

He accused some private landowners of illegally acquiring the land and selling it to unsuspecting buyers.

The county government is yet to find 1,000 acres of land which Deputy President William Ruto asked the governor to acquire for the construction of an industrial town to replace Kapsabet town, which was built during the colonial era but has seen little growth.

The county government has defended itself against accusations that it was not keen on implementing the plans.

Mr Sang has threatened to seek legal recourse to ensure that the NLC's ruling is implemented.

"Nandi County has suffered a lot in of historical land injustices after the colonial government forcibly acquired the land occupied by multinational tea companies," he said.

Meanwhile Uasin Gishu plans to build more than 5,000 affordable houses in the next three years. Governor Jackson Mandago said his administration. in conjunction with the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project (KISIP) has already identified 20 acres.

Among the areas identified for the construction of the first 20,000 houses are Kimumu, Kamukunji, Eldoret West and Munyaka.

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