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Community opposes allocation of land to a private developer

05 February 2015, 11:48 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Vihiga County government is on the spot after the community opposed the government's move to allocate a piece of land to a private developer for an activity that the community is not properly aware of.

Vihiga County Benefits Organisations Network, an umbrella body of civil societies in the County, has petitioned the Land Management Board to return the piece of land to the community and initiate proper procedures of handing it over.

“Currently, the developer has erected a structure and is in the process of erecting a perimeter wall. It is also alleged that the said piece of land is being prepared for the treatment of power posts for subsequent sale to Kenya Power Company,” part of the petition to the board reads.

The organisation notes that much as the said business will enhance the economic status of the County and create employment for young people, it lacked effective citizens’ participation.

“The Organisation is aware that the process of transferring the piece of land from the County Government to the developer did not follow the correct procedure as outlined in the constitution and other supporting laws,” Victor Ijaika, chairperson Xposha Youth Group said.

Read Also: Ngilu, Swazuri must go, says CIC boss Nyachae

He said that their previous efforts to get more information on the allocation of the piece of land did not bear much fruit due to minimal access to information.

The said piece of land has previously been used by members of Real Madrid, a football club registered by Kenya Football Federation and who form part of the petitioners, for football practice.

The members come from Wodanga, Busali East and Busali West Locations.

In the year 2009, the defunct County Council of Vihiga allocated over 50 traders space for small scale business after it had been earmarked for a market.

“We are well informed that on allocation of the land, consolidations with these community members has not been effectively done and that the traders were just informed by the developer that they needed to move to facilitate fencing of the landng,” said Ijaika.

The community has thus petitioned the county government to bring the said deal to the public to initiate discussions that will enhance public participation on the environmental impact assessment exercise.

It also wants the land use to be approved only after effect environmental impact assessments have been done and citizens sensitised on their rights by the county government, to enhance future engagements.

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