FACTORS PERPETUATING PRIVATE LAND INVASION BY MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES IN KENYA, A STUDY OF KILIFI SOUTH SUB COUNTY- KILIFI COUNTY
Purpose of the study: Land is a very unique resource for socio- economic and cultural development. Due to its importance every aspect of human survival or existence to some extent depends on availability of land. Owing to its importance land has posed the greatest challenge to many societies and it’s the main cause of conflicts which have been experienced for over and over. The purpose of the study is to examine factors perpetuating private land invasion in Kilifi South Sub County. The specific objectives were to find out the relationship between land management systems and private land invasion in Kilifi South Sub County, to find out if political incitement perpetuates private land invasion in Kilifi South Sub County and to determine the extent to which landlessness contributes to private land invasion in Kilifi South Sub County.
Methodology: The study employed descriptive survey research design. The target groups for this study were 3181 squatters in Kilifi South Sub County. The study also targeted 13 land administrators Kilifi South Sub County. The study used key informant interview guide for the land administrators and researcher administered questionnaire guide for the squatters.
Results of the study: The study established that that land use, management and cultural practices that include absentee landlordism, squatter dorm, and public and community land contribute to private land invasion by unauthorized persons. When land is vacant and only used for grazing purposes, there is a high tendency for locals to invade. Further, when the owner of the land is absent, invaders tend to take this advantage to invade the land. Some communities invade some lands because they attach cultural beliefs in that area. They believe that their ancestors and “gods” reside there. There are also religious beliefs attached to particular lands. It was also established that political incitement of the locals is a contributing factor to land invasion. It was indicated that political incitement especially during campaigns contributes immensely to escalated cases of land invasion. It was established that other factors that spurred land invasion included skewed land policies, historical injustices, demand for fertile lands and population outgrowth. It was concluded that several factors contribute to private land invasion in the region. The factors have been highlighted to include skewed land policies, historical injustices, landlessness, demand for fertile lands and population outgrowth.
Conclusion and policy recommendation: The study recommends the government must implement the land policies recommended in the Ndungu report and solve historical land injustices by implementing the TJRC report. There must be a sincere political goodwill to implement the recommendations of these reports in order to solve land issues in Kenya particularly in Kilifi South Sub County. The study also recommends the digitization of land records at the ministry of land offices across the county.
Keywords: Land use tenure, political incitement, landlessness, private land invasion, Kilifi South Sub County
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