#Article (Archive)

The lands commission

Dec 1, 2010, 11:51 AM

It is a hard fact that the situation befalling land ownership in this country, to say the least, is alarming.

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

Our point of focus is the rate at which simmering land cases increases in our courts.

This is, of course, 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.

Indeed, ordinary citizens now find it difficult to own a plot of land in this country, especially in the urban and peri-urban areas of the country.

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

However, we are happy to note that the commission of inquiry into land allocation in the country began sittings at the High Court in Banjul yesterday.

The Commission, which is tasked with the responsibility of enquiring into matters relating to land allocation in the country, should be seen doing its work without fear or favour, as pledged by members when they took the oath of office.

It is our fervent belief that it is only by doing so that the seemingly unending land problems will come to an end.

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

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

It is, therefore, up to the Commission to address the issue by dealing with all cases before them diligently, and as soon as possible.

The Commission should ensure that land in the country is legally acquired to avoid unforeseeable problems, as there have been instances where plots of land were seized and buildings demolished in this country, in circumstances which left the public gasping for an explanation.

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

“Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet.”