Land source of Coast conflicts, says Coast PC Samuel Kilele

Posted: December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Land in Tana River has not been demarcated properly since independence, Coast PC Samuel Kilele has said.

Kilele said this has been the source of constant conflicts in the region.

He was speaking at a session by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Tana Delta massacre in Mombasa on Thursday.

Kilele, who is the chairman of the provincial security intelligence committee, said a clear demarcation of land in the region will see pastoralists and farmers separated and, therefore, avert conflicts.

“Land demarcation in the Tana River has never been done. Nobody there has a title deed. If this is done and the farmers are given land and the pastoralists have a clear communal land for grazing,  conflicts will be reduced,” Kilele said.

He said the government through the line ministries should create permanent watering points to avert scramble for water among the warring communities.

“Even the Tana River Development Authority project was met by resistance. Irrigation projects like Gamba, Bura and Hola schemes collapsed. If revived, the corridor will be opened up for prosperity,” Kilele said.

Scramble for resources, grazing fields and water was is said to have been the main cause of the Tana Delta violence that left over 130 people dead, scores injured and displaced in August/September mayhem

The PC who appeared before Lady Justice Grace Nzioka led commission as witness number 90 said that the land conflicts dates back from 1993.

He said for all along, pastoralist communities led by Orma have been in constant conflicts with farming community, Pokomo.

“The region’s conflict is latent and it only needs a small trigger like disagreements over crops and animals amongst the communities and ethnic mobilization orchestrated by political competition,” Kilele said.

Kilele also said that government has been doing very little to address the issue, terming it a deep rooted problem.

Commissioner of lands who also Zablon Mabeya testified yesterday recommended that access to land was more important than land ownership in Tana River.

“Land ownership in the Delta should be reorganized so that the locals can engage with land other engaging with each other,” said Mabeya.

Mabeya proposed both private and communal land ownership in the Tana Delta as part of solving the constant crisis.

Yesterday, Galole MP Dadho Godana who is facing incitement charges over the clashes, was set to give his evidence before the commission.



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