Land Acquisition For Selected Road Projects In Kenya
Sustainable development requires Governments to provide public facilities and infrastructure that enhance the interests of the natural environment. An early step in the process of providing such service is the acquisition of appropriate land. In some cases, several locations could be suitable for such purposes and the Government may not be able to purchase land at one of the locations through the land market. In other cases, specific land parcels are required but the land may not be on sale at the time it is required. In order to obtain land when and where it is needed, Governments have the power of compulsory acquisition of land that can compel owners to sell their land in order for it to be used for specific purposes. Compulsory land acquisition has always been emotive and delicate especially with the rapid growth and change in land use. When implemented poorly it can be abused. This paper provides advice on how governments can equitably and efficiently acquire land necessary for development. It is intended for use by policy makers and landed professionals. In Kenya like In many other states, even if legislations exist which gives the acquiring authority mandate to acquire land compulsorily for public use; the process is not without challenges. These challenges make the acquisition process lengthy, protracted, complex and costly. This research aims to unearth these challenges and recommend possible solutions to mitigate them by examining seven road projects which were carried out by the Government in the last seven years. Questionnaires were administered to government valuers and affected landowners to capture their views on land acquisition challenges. The findings reveal that, the challenges facing the process are legal, social, economic and environmental ones. Another significant finding of this research is that the duration taken to acquire land for a road project is not necessarily determined by the area of land acquired and the length of the road. Chapter one of this research report outline the introduction, problem statement and research methodology while Chapter two provides literature review on right to private property, justification of land acquisition and its history in Kenya. The Chapter also reviews literature on the process and procedures of land acquisition in Kenya and highlights recent court decisions.Chapter three presents information on the best practices or the working principles of land acquisition while Chapter four deals with data presentation and analysis. Lastly, Chapter five provides research findings including conclusions and recommendations. The recommendations relates to planning, publication of notices, public hearing, valuation and compensation, taking possession, appeals and assistance of the affected households.