Strengthening community land regulations in Kenya
Land-Sector Non-State Actors (LSNSA) have been engaged in developing and implementing the Community Land Act in Kenya. Since its enactment in August 2016, LSNSA members have reviewed and simplified the contents of the law to create awareness and for roundtable and workshop discussions so as to promote understanding of the law and generate proposals to strengthen community land rights.
A Working Group on Community Land Law was formed by RECONCILE, ActionAid, HakiJamii, Kituo Cha Sheria, Pamoja Trust, Kenya Land Alliance, Kenya Wildlife Conservation Association, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Indigenous Movement for Peace Advancement and Conflict Transformation, and Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Stakeholders Forum. After analysing the draft law, the group prepared the policy brief “Analysis and proposals to strengthen draft community land regulations”, e.g. regarding claiming an interest in land; freehold, customary and leasehold title; powers of county governments; and approval of community bylaws.
The Working Group points out that most people applying for community title in northern Kenya will be pastoralists or agropastoralists. These communities will need to enter into negotiations with each other to define which areas will fall under which community, and what terms of seasonal or other access will be afforded to each other, on the basis of custom or as new agreements.