One Year on From Langata: Why Public Schools are Still at Risk

Nairobi, January 18th, 2016 – One year ago, Kenya was rocked by the teargassing and violence used to stop the reclamation of the Lang’ata Road Primary School. Using exclusive primary research, nine civil society organisations release figures to demonstrate that Kenya’s 29,151 schools are still at risk of land-grabbing. Interviews with 3,400 Head Teachers reveals that 83% of public schools in Kenya are currently without title-deeds or lease certificates. 41% of public schools are at risk of encroachment or grabbing and 14% (about 4,100) of schools in Kenya have reported cases of land contestation, encroachment or grabbing to the National Land Commission. These and other findings contained in the report were captured six months after the 22nd January 2015 Presidential Directive to have all primary and secondary public schools in Kenya titled.

Kenya faces an epic rush for land-based investments in a context of a fundamental breakdown in the value of public spaces. Public officials and private businesspeople are actively undermining a moratorium on the transfer of assets during the transition to devolution. Public silence, corruption and collusion of public officials are at the heart of the problem. Administrative delays in the implementation of the Presidential Directive and community inaction perpetuate the problem.

In the absence of a systematic titling programme, demonstrations, wall demolitions, occupations, legal injunctions and media are the responses to encroachment, outright grabs, bribery, intimidation and legal challenges for our schools. Kenya faces a vicious scramble for public land.

To address this challenge of school land grabbing, the ShuleYangu Alliance are calling on;

  1. The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to issue lease-certificates to the 2,400 schools that have already been surveyed;
  2. The Cabinet to fast-track the approval the waiving of survey fees and all other costs for the 5,000 other schools who have already applied for assistance to determine school boundaries;
  3. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to encourage all remaining schools to apply for title-deeds;
  4. All 47 County Governments to urgently complete their audits all public schools and other public utilities and where appropriate issue lease-certificates;
  5. The establishment of a rapid results titling taskforce of Government Ministries, National land Commission, ShuleYangu Alliance, Teachers Associations.


Policy-brief information


Policy Brief title:                One Year on from Lang’ata: Why Public Schools are Still at Risk

Publication Date:              18th January 2016

Author:                                    Kenya Dialogues Project at the Society for International Development (SID) for the ShuleYangu Alliance. It was written by Irūngū Houghton

The #ShuleYangu Campaign Alliance is composed of stakeholders from the Government, Public and Private sector working together to protect schools against illegal land-grabs, support Government to issue title-deeds to public schools and support communities to own their schools. The Alliance seeks to have 10,000 public schools issued with title deeds and 5,000 schools fenced across the 47 counties. To join the campaign or report an instance of land grabbing contact us;

#ShuleYangu Campaign Centre | E-mail: | Mobile: +254 705 087 070 |

Policy-Brief: One Year on from Lang'ata: Why Public Schools are Still at Risk

This policy-brief is generated by the Kenya Dialogues Project at the Society for International Development (SID) for the ShuleYangu Alliance. It was written by Irūngū Houghton. While asserting our full responsibility for the analysis and conclusions contained in this policy brief, SID acknowledges fellow ShuleYangu Alliance members namely; National Land Commission, East African Centre for Human Rights (EACH Rights), Kenya Alliance for the Advancement of Child Rights (KAACR), Elimu Yetu Coalition, Amnesty International, Africa Network Campaign on Education For All (ANCEFA), Pawa Initiative, Girl Child Network (GCN) for their ongoing work to protect schools at risk. .