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Kajiado County Admin August 18, 2023
SAFEGUARDING LIVEHOOD THROUGH LAND REFORMS
In 2017, Kajiado County was ranked
position three in the country on the
prevalence of land frauds. This state of
affairs required a bold step in returning sanity to the land sector, especially
because of the county’s strategic position
as a recipient of Nairobi City’s expansion
Kajiado is endowed as a hub of economic activities. In fact, you can actually
engage in any economic initiative in this
Pastoral Paradise; ranging from pastoralism to agriculture, industrialisation,
manufacturing, horticulture, mining,
tourism and hospitality, among others.
This made it even more urgent to reset
the modalities of land use and planning.
The need for land reforms also emanated from the civil strife suffered
by local residents as well as investors,
both small and big. Many people were
dying and others were suffering fromstress-related ailments due to
long legal disputes in court over
land. Many cases slowed down
any development on such land.
Vulnerable individuals, local communities and investors continued
to lose their land and money in dubious deals, and thus became frustrated. They had to be protected by
the County Government in conjunction with relevant agencies.
Towards resolving the land issue
comprehensively, the County Government started an automation
programme for all land ownership documents as well as land
digitisation of planning and architectural proposals, as well as
structural engineering designs,
through the Kajiado ElectronicDevelopment Application Management System (KeDAMS), which
was supported by the World Bank.
This has been a game changer
for reducing the duration people
used to take to get the documents.
Further, the County Government
set out to validate land ownership in towns where there were
rampant double and multiple allocation of plots. So far, the County Government has issued more
than 30,000 allotment letters with
high security features, in 44 towns.
With the new security features,
commercial banks are accepting
the letters as collateral for loans.
Deep in the rural areas too, the
County Government had a very
fruitful collaboration with the
National Government, and initiated issuance of title deeds to
members of group ranches. So far,
more than 30,000 of such members have received title deeds.
To further unlock the land potential that was held back by long
winding courts cases, the County
Government adopted the Alternative Justice System (AJS) in a
robust partnership with the Judiciary. This system was meant to
achieve at least three outcomes.
First, was to resolve cases that
were already in court for many
years by bringing a dose of local
traditional justice principles. This
not only saves litigants the agony
of having a case hanging on their
head for long, but it also saves
them huge litigation costs.
Secondly, by amicably resolving
the cases, ADR forestalls disputants
from hauling each other to court.
It leaves both parties satisfied with
the outcome, especially because,
unlike the judicial process, it does
not create a winner-loser scenario,
but a win-win situation.
Thirdly, an AJS decision is binding and frees up the disputed land
for economic use and utilisation by
the land owner.
These measures are restoring
sanity. The AJS is implemented
through 10 autonomous panels,
which basically represent the geographical composition of the county. The panels are Cosmopolitan
panel, which covers Kajiado North
Sub-County; Ilkaputiei (Kajiado
East); Ildamat, Dalalekutuk, Purko
Le Ngaroni, and Matapato in Kajiado Central; Keekonyokie, Iloodokilani and Purko Le Mosiro in Kajiado West; and Ilkisonko in Kajiado
South. So far, the panels have handled 229 cases.