Landownership and Land Use


1. Public, Community and Private Land

According to the Draft National Lands Policy, the Government shall: ”Designate all land in Kenya as Public, Community and Private;” (Source: Ministry of Lands, Draft National Lands Policy: 19).


2. Trust land

According to the Kenyan Constitution Trust Land is:

    • “Land which is in the special areas (meaning the areas of land the boundaries of which where specified First Schedule to the Trust Land Act as in force on 31st May, 1963), and which was on 31st May, 1963 vested in the Trust Land Board by virtue of any law or registered in the name of the Trust Land Board.

    • The areas of land that were known before 1st June, 1963 as Special Reserves, Temporary Special Reserves, Special Leasehold Areas and Special Settlement Areas and the boundaries of which were described respectively in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Schedules to the Crown Lands Ordinance as in force on 31st May, 1963, the areas of land that were on 31st May, 1963 communal reserves by virtue of a declaration under section 58 of that Ordinance, the areas of land referred to in section 59 of that Ordinance as in force on 31st May, 1963 and the areas of land in respect of which a permit to occupy was in force on 31st May, 1963 under section 62 of that Ordinance.

    • Land situated outside the Nairobi Area (as it was on 12th December, 1964) the freehold title to which is registered in the name of a county council or the freehold title to which is vested in a county council by virtue of an escheat: Provided that Trust land does not include any estates, interests or rights in or over land situated in the Nairobi Area (as it was on 12th December, 1964) that on 31st May, 1963 were registered in the name of the Trust Land Board under the former Land Registration (Special Areas) Ordinance” (Source: Constitution of Kenya; http://kenya.rcbowen.com/constitution/chap9.html).


3. Government Land

Government land: Is public land of which the Government is the custodian. (Source: Constitution of Kenya; http://kenya.rcbowen.com/constitution/chap9.html).

Public land: Comprises all land owned by the Government and dedicated to a specified public use or made available for private uses at the discretion of the Government. (Source: MajiData).

Council owned land: Is public land which is allocated to local council for use by (the) public (e.g. to build schools, play fields etc.). (Source: MajiData).

Private land: Refers to land held by an individual or other entity under freehold or leasehold tenure. Community owned land. (Source: Ministry of Lands, Draft National Lands Policy: 17).

Community land: Refers to land lawfully held, managed and used by a specific community. (Source: Ministry of Lands, Draft National Lands Policy: 15).


4. Legal Area

The area is legally recognized by the local authorities. (Source: MajiData).


5. Illegal Area

The area is not officially recognized by the local authorities. (Source: MajiData).