Residents reveal massive encroachment on public utilities

Residents in Trans Nzoia have revealed massive encroachment on public utilities by the public which were set aside by the government through the defunct local authorities.

This came out clear during a public participation exercise on County Assets and Liability committee on asset financing in Kiminini Sub County on Thursday.

The committee led by the chairperson Gideon Sawe who is Trans Nzoia County deputy secretary collected views and submissions from residents on public land and other assets possessed by residents.

Mr. Sawe asked the residents to give views on land that were set aside for establishment of public utilities but were encroached by the public.

“We want to identify if at all the land parcels and other public utilities still exist or not and if not where are they so that we can trace them,” he said.

He pointed out that the submissions will be treated with confidence and a report will be written and submitted to parliament so that the government can act and repossess all public land and utilities that were grabbed.

Sawe exuded confidence that the residents themselves will be involved in ensuring pulic property is repossessed from grabbers and utilized in establishment of public utilities for the benefit of all residents in the areas.

“The committee is established by an act of parliament and investigations will be carried out to identify the places where land was set aside for public utilities so that they can be reposed,” he said.

He noted that there was massive encroachment by the public on those parcels of land meant for establishing public utilities during the transition from the defunct local authorities to the devolved system of government.

He said most residents ignorantly took parcels of land thinking the government will not act and are now settling on those lands and other properties belonging to the government.

While giving their contributions on the County Assets and Liability committee on asset financing residents  called on for the government to revoke the title deeds of the parcels of land that are supposed to be under public utilities.

They said that some of the parcels grabbed belonged to the government for establishment of markets, cattle dips, dispensaries, roads, springs among other public utilities.

An example of land for public utilities that was encroached is an area of 10 acres belonging where St. Johns Priscilla Catholic church, Girls High School and Nursery school.

“Instead of the gazette 10 acres the church, high school and nursery school are under seven acres,” said a resident Wyciffe Simiyu from Sirende Ward in Kiminini Sub County.

Simiyu disclosed that land that was gazette for establishment of 10 springs in sirende ward has been reduced in a way that the springs do not exist.

Others he cited are 0.7 acres for establishment of a cattle dip that has now been encroached and a water dam that does not currently exist due to massive encroachment.

The residents said they are aware that such parcels were set aside for establishment of public utilities urging the government not to relent its efforts of reclaiming such parcels of land as it has been in the past.