The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Madam Finda Diana Konomanyi on Thursday 7th July 2016, at the usual Press Briefing of the Ministry of Information and Communications intimated Press men on her ministry’s activities.
Speaking on the occasion, the Hon. Minister confirmed the ministry’s strides to achieve the alleviation of poverty and sustained Environmental and land management in Sierra Leone by ensuring an improved land management system through Development Control and a balanced pattern of urbanization.
She informed the Briefing on the Constraints and challenges faced bythe Ministry. She highlighted the following factors: Squatting on State and Private lands in the Western Area due to rapid Urbanization; land grabbing / double sale of land parcel in the western area; duplication of land rights/ ownership in the western area; lack of proper cadastral mapping and land information; unclear and diverging tenure forms under customary law; overlapping jurisdiction for statutory law.
Madam Konomanyi noted that in a bid to overcome the aforesaid constraints and challenges, her ministry will continue to embark on the knocking down of illegal structures in prime areas and penalized defaulters who rebuild again.
“My Ministry will hand over unscrupulous land grabbers and dealers to the police,” she maintained. She encapsulated that the ministry will be involving in rapid revenue generation by ordering that all those in possession of domestic leases above five years and had not done any development who are faltering in the payment, will forfeit those leases with immediate effect.
However, those who have leases below five years should endeavour to update their payment and develop their lands within six months from Thursday 7th July 2016 or forfeit the same.
Blocking of access roads has been a serious problem confrontingthe Ministry. “The ministry has commenced and will continue robust demolition of such illegal structures with very limited protocols” the minister noted.
Hon. Konomanyi revealed that her ministry will be embarking on massive reclamation of state lands in various communities and from unscrupulous individuals that had bought or converted them as private.
She also talked toughly on falsification of land documents and called on the general public to verify land documents before transaction. She however intimated newsmen on the ongoing pilot project of planning Gloucester Saddle community such that it has the semblance of a modern City.