By RAMADHAN RAJAB, published in THE STAR
More than 85 per cent of public schools risk losing their land, a civil societies’ audit shows.
The survey was released at the Panafric Hotel yesterday to mark the first anniversary of protests held to stop grabbers taking the Lang’ata Road Primary School playground in Nairobi.
Scramble for public schools land is driven by increasing value of land, public silence, corruption and collusion, the study found.
The report says private developers aided by public servants pose the greatest risk to public schools land.
This is followed by religious institutions, who acquire properties in collaboration with public servants after having originally obtained the land for establishing schools.
Neighbouring communities also pose risk to land owned by schools.
The research is titled One Year on From Lang’ata: Why Public Schools are Still at Risk.
Some 3,400 head teachers were interviewed across the 47 counties.
The audit shows 83 per cent of the schools do not have the title deeds or lease certificates.
Forty-one per cent of schools have no allotment letters and 55 per cent of schools are yet to be surveyed.
“These facts suggest a large number of schools are at risk of encroachment and grabbing,” the research conducted by eight lobby groups reads.
“We call for issuance of lease certificates and not title deeds to avoid future transactions on schools land or use of the lands as collateral,” said Irungu Houghton from the Society for International Development.
The organisations urged Lands CS Jacob Kaimenyi to waive survey fees and all other costs for the 5,000 schools who have applied to be assisted in securing school boundaries.
Odima Otieno, a land administrator at the National Land Commission, who attended the release of the report, said the commission will issue titles to about 2,400 schools by end of this month.
By last August, more than 4,000 complaints of encroachment on schools land had been reported.