Post by Cynthia Chebet
Members of County Assembly (MCAs) from Laikipia together with two representatives from Isiolo County Assembly participated in a two-day training from Friday 3rd of May to Saturday 4th of May. The training which also saw in attendance the Speaker of the Laikipia County Government, Hon Patrick Waigwa and two representatives from NAMATI focused on ‘Land Legislation, Community Land Act and Investment’ and was held at the Misty Mountain Lodge in Naromoru.
The training brought about a myriad of issues affecting community land in the county which included land grabbing, misuse of public utilities and lack of benefit sharing with the communities, lack of title deeds for locals, patriarchy, and conflict between farmers and herders and forceful eviction of people from forests without being resettled or compensated.
Aside from that, the MCAs also highlighted a problem in regards to whistle blowing and calling out injustices as in recent times, some people have put their lives in danger for calling out these unjust land grabbers. They requested IMPACT to organize a session where they could train them on how to frame their statements while speaking in public.
“Most of the issues discussed have been caused by challenges like little and in some cases no political will to implement land laws, a huge gap in access to information, legal illiteracy and patriarchy in communities that doesn’t promote inclusion of women in land issues. However, we are grateful for organizations like IMPACT who create such initiatives to train Members of the assembly on how to go about these issues,” said the Speaker Hon. Waigwa in his closing remarks.
The MCAs developed an action plan which will include holding a dialogue with relevant technical experts for them to be guided on how to go about registration of unregistered land by 15th June 2019 after which they will develop an inventory of all unregistered land and utilities in the county. They also agreed to look into developing a policy that will govern the extraction of natural resources, and their effects to the community health, livelihoods and environment and implement these policies to ensure development in their wards.