4,800 Acres Of Land Reclaimed

 

By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Dennis Sandy yesterday Tuesday 26th March, 2019 disclosed in a news conference held at his Ministry that they have reclaimed about 4,800 acres of land from land grabbers and encroachers.

The Minister furthered that the Ministry has made remarkable progress in reclaiming state lands along the Western Rural Peninsular areas and that most of the people who claimed these lands never had official documents as 99% of documents they produced were, according to him, fake.

Dr. Dennis Sandy said he organized the news conference to update the media on the recent major development in the Ministry. He disclosed that the Ministry has put in place more refined processes and procedures for the acquisition of state lands than before, noting that they have also established a Verification and Complaint Unit to look into different complaints brought to the Ministry.

Dr. Dennis Sandy stressed that those that were allocated state lands but failed to develop them within three years would forfeit them and be relocated to other citizens. He said people had not been receiving freehold documents upon acquisition of state lands, noting that the Ministry has taken complete care of the issue of conveyance after receiving its freehold applications.

Dr. Sandy also informed the media that the reclaiming of state lands is not only limited to Western Area but also in the provinces.

Meanwhile, the Lands Minister has informed the media that the Ministry recently paid Le 1.5 billion to landowners in Bo and Kenema districts and that each Paramount Chief received Le 150 million.

He furthered that the Ministry has also surveyed the allocated site of 406 acres of land for the construction of a University in Kono district, while it has also provided a land at Tombo to be used as cemetery.

Dr. Sandy said the ongoing reforms in the Land Ministry have never led to the demolition of anybody’s house, adding that the land policy is in top gear and that they are working in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).