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Regional News Tue, 16 Jul 2013

Land owners asked to use ADR

The Deputy Chief Lands Officer in-charge of Customary Boundary Demarcation (CBD) at the Customary Land Secretariat (CLS), Mr Kwesi Dawutey, has appealed to land owners to use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to settle land disputes in the country.

He said a mechanism established under the secretariat had proven to be the most peaceful and lasting means of resolving disputes in most traditional areas, especially those that bordered on land.

He, therefore, appealed to the Zini-Buwa Traditional Area and all other areas in the country to refer land disputes to the CLS for amicable resolution rather than resorting to the law courts.

Mr Dawutey made the call at a day’s workshop on Customary Boundary Demarcation (CBD) and Rural Parcel Rights for the chiefs and people of the Zini-Buwa Traditional Area in the Sissala West District of the Upper West Region.

The workshop formed part of preparatory works for the establishment of a CLS in the area following the successful application to the secretariat by the traditional council.

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The Zini-Bawu CLS, when established, would be the fourth in the region after that of Wa Central, Wa Sagmaalu and Tabiase and it is aimed at improving the land tenure system in the country

In an address, Mr Dawutey said Customary Land Secretariats (CLSs) were specialised offices established by local land owning communities with support from the government to improve land management and administration in the country.

He said as a result, the secretariats would be managed by the local people who had knowledge about how to maintain records of their respective communities.

Touching on the benefits of the establishment of CLS within specific traditional areas, Mr Dawutey said it would help improve land tenure security by reducing risks such as land grabbing, encroachment, disputes and expropriation.

For his part, the acting President of the Zini-Buwa Traditional Council, Kuoro Nlowie Baninye III, said the idea of establishing a CLS in the area emanated from him and his divisional and subchiefs with the sole aim of minimising conflict in the area.

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He said land was next to God and as a result, those who were alive today must have an effective mechanism to manage its usage so as to be at peace with the dead and also safeguard the future of the next generation.

He expressed concern over the issue of charcoal burning which was fast degrading the environment and destroying the livelihoods of many people in the area, especially women who depended on Shea trees for survival.

He said effective September 15 this year, a ban on all charcoal burning activities in the traditional area would come into force in order to arrest the situation.

Source: Graphic.com.gh