Investors eyeing Kisumu County for real estate development will soon have an easier time accessing government land thanks to an initiative by the county government to create a land bank for the lakeside city.

The county has begun a mass audit of all government land issued to the public and private investors over the past 10 years. The county plans to repossess all illegally acquired land which will be included in the land bank.

The initiative aims at making land available for investors seeking to put up cottage industries, real estate or commercial enterprises. The county land department had sought Sh. 500 million for the establishment of the county land bank in its annual development plan but the county assembly only approved Sh. 40 million of the budget.

Already the county has repossessed 126 hectares of land in Muhoroni, which were illegally allocated by the defunct municipal authorities and county council. Governor Nyong’o has also ordered the repossession of all unclaimed parcels of land in the county.

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“Those who have acquired land illegally or have not processed title deeds to date may lose the plots in the ongoing mass audit of public land here,” County executive member for lands, Dickson Obungu told the standard.

Kisumu Governor Professor Anyang Nyong’o has ordered the county land department to come up with a database of all the land in the county and the respective ownership details to weed out and dispossess land cartels.

The governor also wants all parcels of land issued as leases or acquired in the name of the county government to be registered afresh with the county’s registry.

County authorities have earmarked for investigation more than 5000 hectares suspected to have been illegally acquired. Records show that about 50 per cent of the county’s land, especially in the rural areas, is underutilized, with sparse or no development.

Furthermore, most of the land in the county is not registered which has barred people from exercising property rights extensively.

Source; kenyandigest