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Reassuring development

Nov 5, 2013, 12:04 PM

Remarks by the Governor of the West Coast Region that his region has made an “impressive mark” in the reduction of perennial land disputes in the area, with over 75 percent of both major and minor cases resolved over the past few years, is indeed reassuring and timely.

Lamin Sanneh told a local newspaper in an interview that land disputes used to be one of the most prominent engagements of the people in the region, in the past five years, but noted that since the establishment of a steering committee he instituted, it is now witnessing a robust reduction in the disputes.

We quite agree with Governor Sanneh that land disputes used to be one of the most prominent engagements of the people in the region in the past five years, and this has made the situation befalling land ownership in this country of recent, to be the least alarming.

This unprecedented situation has been creeping slowly, but surely into the fabric of Gambian society to the dismay of many.

The rate at which simmering land cases increase in our courts should be a cause for concern not only to the government of The Gambia, but the whole Gambian citizenry, who struggle day in, day out to make ends meet. Ordinary citizens now find it difficult to own a plot of land in this country.

This does not tell well in a country where decades ago land used to be acquired by merely dishing out cola nuts to its traditional owners.

Lands must be made available, affordable and accessible to all citizens by means of legal mechanisms, and through the right channels.

Selling a plot of land to three or four different persons at the same time, as seen in many cases, is unacceptable.

It’s therefore the responsibility of the Ministry of Lands and Local Government to address the issue by putting in place a proper mechanism, to ensure that land is legally acquired to avoid unforeseeable circumstances.

Needless to say that urgent action should be taken to redress the issue, before it gets out of hand.

It is our belief that only urgent action by the authorities can avert such abnormality.

“Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our needs.”

George Eliot