West Pokot County government has embarked on a campaign to empower local land committees, chiefs and village elders to settle land-related disputes at the village level instead of referring them to Courts and County lands offices.
The County government has sensitized land committee members, chiefs and village elders in the laws governing land ownership and succession to help tackle the rising cases.
Land disputes have become rampant in the area where more than four thousand people in the County from the 1980s and 1990s have not transferred the lands to the owners after they sold them.
Speaking at Lokitanyala area in North Pokot Sub County, County lands chief officer Mr. Elijah Lopuke asked locals in the area to settle land disputes at the grass root level.
He encouraged residents to look for the required land documents like title deeds.
The Chief Officer urged residents who sold land to process and transfer ownership of title deeds and sub divisions to those who bought and owners in order to help develop the County economically. “We have identified those who haven’t applied to transfer the lands to the owners,” he said.
Lopuke said West Pokot lacks a registrar and they hope soon they will have one. “People struggle and raise conflicts around small portions of land and boundaries which are sometimes less than one feet,” he said.
He called on the Provincial administration and chiefs in the area to help sensitize residents on land transfers and sub divisions to shun land conflicts.
He said that the West Pokot County government has issued more than ten thousand title deeds since the new County administration came in place adding that the percentage of title deeds holders in the County is below 15%.
He said the beneficiaries have lived in the area since independence but didn’t have titles to the land they occupied adding that the move was aimed at ending land wrangles in the area and help spur development in the area.