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Lack of Land Rights Keeps Families in Difficulty

Too poor to buy land where they grew up on Kenya's palm-fringed southern coast, Sylvester Jefua and his wife migrated 300 kms northwards to Witu Forest, where they felled seven acres of trees and built a mud and thatch house for their family.

Ten years later, Jefua, 36, still does not feel secure.

Land prices in Lamu County where he built his home are soaring as the government buys up thousands of acres for a new road, port, coal plant, airport and railway line -- and Jefua doesn't have a title deed.

Last year, an unknown developer served him and other villagers in Witu, some 75 km (47 miles) southwest of Lamu town, with eviction notices.

Angela Sevin

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