Land grabbers in rural urban centre in Kenya (allAfrica / News from Africa)

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Women project to fight land grab

A seven-month project involving a grassroots women’s group and the provincial administration and with the support from the SIDA through the Embassy of Sweden in Kenya could end the seemingly unquenchable quest by land grabbers in rural urban centres.

To help achieve this, the project aims to empower grassroots women to take the lead to map out public land within their localities. “People in authority have in the past grabbed land under their care leaving women without places they could earmark for markets, schools and Jua Kali sheds for their sons,” said John Kinyua, District Commissioner, Lari, Kiambu County.

Affirming what the DC said, Mrs Teresia Kimani, a women leader in Lari said women form the larger proportion of traders at any given market, but they also suffer the most as they had previously left the management of public land resources to the men-folk.

Speaking in Nairobi recently at the launch of a survey on public land in Lari Constituency, Kinyua said while all that people do before was to make noise when public land got grabbed, the new constitution however has empowered people, especially women and the youth to begin having a say on how public land is to be managed.

According to Kinyua, nothing testifies of the extent of land grabbing in the country than the Constituency Development Fund across many constituencies are spending money to purchase land for public projects. “This is a clear testimony that public lands have been grabbed and in private hands,” he said.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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