Residents around Lake Ol Bolossat Questions move to repossess land

Communities bordering Lake Ol Bolossat in Nyandarua County have read mischief in the recent move by the National and County Government to repossess the Lake and its riparian area.

The residents feel that the gazettement of the Lake and the subsequent creation of a land bank for investors will only create more avenues for grabbing the wetland that has about 3.6 million people depending on it down stream.

We are glad that efforts have been mulled to help us conserve the Lake but the zeal with which our leaders have shown concern is sinister.

The National Land Commission (NLC) says they are driving us away from the Lake and its riparian area, the Governor says the land that will remain unoccupied would be issued to woo investors and another leader says she wants her Cabinet counterpart to get a share of the land to build hotels, wondered Joseph Mucheru, a resident.

Mucheru, who attended the World Wetlands Day Celebrations held on the shores of the Lake on Friday, February 2, 2018, faulted the dignitaries who graced the occasion, saying they sought to sweet-talk the County government so as to benefit from the land, that was already suffocating with human activity and grabbers who include prominent personalities in the country.

The County Administrators were however, celebrating the gazettement of Lake Ol’Bollosat with the hope that it would boost the County’s economy.

Speaking during the world wetlands day, County Governor, Francis Kimemia said his government was seeking comprehensive rehabilitation, conservation and dredging of the marshland.

The Lake which is shrinking to a small pond can be a great tourist attraction site if well maintained and our agenda, includes having a recreation park to boost tourism and also create employment for many of our youths, said Kimemia.

The Governor said that the County would give incentives to investors to put up Star-rated hotels by creating a land bank and leasing it to them. He also noted that his Administration has begun improving road network leading to the area.

The Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Appointee, Sicily Kariuki who also graced the occasion stirred the crowed when on a light note, she instructed NLC Chairman, Muhammad Swazuri to apportion part of the Land to Tourism CS, Najib Balala (also present) to make him one of the investors in the region. This angered some of the residents who took her seriously.

Source: Kenya News Agency