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Regional News Sat, 19 Mar 2005

Land owners warned against use of land guards

Yilo Krobo (E/R), March 19, GNA - The District Chief Executive of the Yilo Krobo District Assembly, Mr Christian Tettey, has warned land owners and traditional authorities that, the government would not tolerate the use of land guards as a means of settling land disputes. He noted that the activities of land guards, which had started emerging in Yilo Krobo and other districts, had the potential of generating clan and family conflicts, thereby posing security threat to the nation.

Mr Tettey, who was opening a one-day private sector sensitisation and validation workshop under the Land Administration Project (LAP) at Somanya on Friday, called on the people to go to the courts to settle any land disagreement instead of resorting to the use of land guards. The workshop, which was organized by the office of the Stool Lands Administrator, was attended by traditional rulers, land owners, Area Council members and district heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

It was meant to educate them on the government's Land Inventory Programme (LIP), which starts from June to September, this year. The LIP aimed at strategizing ways to identify among other things, land acquired by the government and which compensations had been paid but were not fully utilized.

It would also target lands that were acquired by the government and occupied but no compensation had been paid.

Mr Wilfred Anim-Odame of the Land Valuation Board, who is also the LIP Task Force leader, said they also hoped to document those lands that were acquired but were not used for the purpose of acquisition. He said four districts in the Eastern Region, including Yilo Krobo, Manya Krobo, Birim North and Suhum/Kraboa/Coaltar districts and three in the Brong Ahafo have been earmarked for the first phase of the programme.

Mr Anim-Odame said the exercise would help government agencies to update their records of landed assets to facilitate easy access to information on the lands.

He said it would also enable the government to formulate and implement its policies on compulsorily acquired lands and payment of compensation.

Mr Anim-Odame appealed to traditional authorities to volunteer information so as to enable the team to have a comprehensive list of state acquired and occupied lands for the inventory exercise.

Source: GNA