The new Minister of Lands Diana Konomani has brought some amount of sanity in this challenging ministry after chasing Land officials that have been conniving with people to sell state land and private properties across the country.
In just six months in office she has been able to implement the laws by arresting imposters, and ministry officials that have been prosecuted for doing the wrong thing.
Speaking to the minister on policies that she has been implementing, she said the Lands ministry is one of the most challenging and problematic, but said she is determined to succeed and turn it around before her tenure in office comes to an end.
“Many people when we talk about this ministry all their attention is on Land, but they forget that the ministry is responsible for country planning and the environment. I believe that all the new areas that should be developed should be done with the utmost planning that should represent modern day Sierra Leone.”
Minister Konomanyi said one big problem in the city is dustbin spaces that have been lost to land grabbing. She said the ministry is working on them and they are going to reclaim all those spaces once again so that people will be able to deposit their waste in the dustbins rather than in the gutters.
She said most of the flooding is due to blocked drainages by people because some of them don’t have dustbins in their surroundings, whilst others do it deliberately when the rain is falling.
“I am working with other line ministries to solve all these problems and I am optimistic that I will succeed because I have the backing of my staff and the government, Those who do not want to abide by the law will have problems with me as I have started showing them that Sierra Leone is a country that has laws and they should be abided by all.”
The minister averred that town and country Planning plays an important role by helping to strike a balance between development and the protection of the environment and to achieve social equity through a better spatial distribution of the benefits of development. It protects the natural and man-made environment both for the benefit of present and future generations, whilst at the same time ensuring that development and growth are sustainable.
Madam Konomani said under the president’s recovery priorities she will make sure that what her ministry should do to make it succeed will be done, and she said that she has been going round the country to solve so many land disputes that have been plaguing the ministry.
She said they are now working to make sure that the land at Gloucester will be planned and developed like any modern area in the world as they will apply the zonal planning system. “If we decide that this area all the houses there should be highrise, nobody will come and build one flat. Areas for one flat will be created, areas for high rise buildings will be created and we will make sure that all the utilities are their as well as market, school and hospital for the community.” (Source: Awoko Newspaper)