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The challenge for the new Lands Minister

Aug 29, 2013, 12:45 PM

During his swearing in ceremony as the new minister of Regional Governments and Lands, Momodou F.K Colley acknowledged the fact that land has become a precious commodity not only in The Gambia, but across the world.

He also noted that running the ministry of Regional Governments and Lands is a challenge like all other ministries, and that in present times, it is really a very difficult ministry for one to handle.

Indeed, the new minister was very right, taking into consideration the situation regarding land ownership in this country at the moment, and also the problem with Alkaloship in some villages in this country.

However, with over 30 years of experience working under this ministry and having served as director of the physical planning department prior to his appointment, we want to be less pessimistic and to be more optimistic that he can live up to the challenge.

The number of issues pertaining to land in The Gambia is growing day-by-day.

We have poor coordination, false possession, and people charging high prices for what do not belong to them; to name but a few of the problems.

The new minister of Regional Governments and Lands should take note of all these problems and the earlier the better.

One thing that must be understood is that the physical land of The Gambia is for all of us, but possession of land has been beset with problems in recent times.

As things stand, the reality is that genuine people who wish to invest their hard-earned money in a piece of property, are increasingly afraid to risk getting involved in land disputes.

It is hard to blame them. If you have worked hard and saved money diligently, the last thing you want is for that money to be lost in a dubious land deal.

In any case, prospective investors in land need to remind themselves of the importance of obtaining reliable confirmation and transfer documents from alkalos, and proper advice and guidance from lawyers.

That said, the new minister should waste no time in addressing the problem. Land in The Gambia now is a burning issue, and people need help, as they are suffering.

We cannot allow this to continue happening to our people.

“Men sooner forget the death of their fathers than the loss of their possessions.”