By Patrick Stephen Tokpah
The issuance of Statutory Land Deeds to customary communities remains a top priority for the Community Land Development and Management Committees (CLDMC).
Customary Land Formalization (CLF) has already begun in Liberia.
The Liberia Land Authority, (LLA) is committed to working along with Civil Society Organizations, (CSOs) to ensure that more communities across Liberia receive Statutory Land Deeds.
Over the weekend, about three communities in Bong County, namely, Panta, Wrunah, and Gahn received certificates from the LLA after completing the Community-Self Identification (CSI) process.
The CSI is the first required step to obtaining Statutory Land Deeds under the Land Rights Law (LRL) of 2018.
The certification program was facilitated by DEN-L, a civil society group working in the land sector, and as well Landesa, an international organization working in Liberia’s land sector.
The certification program brought together several national and local government officials, which included chiefs, elders, women, and youth groups from across the three communities.
Speaking at the end of the certification program, LLA’s Commissioner for Land Policy and Planning, Cllr. Kula L. Jackson praised DEN-L for the level of work done in each of the three communities.
Commissioner Jackson further urged the CLDMC’s Leadership representing the three communities to work with the elders, chiefs, and community members.
“I am so proud to hear your testimonies. This shows that you all do understand exactly your roles and responsibilities, including the CSI process you just completed. We are grateful to DEN-L for the hard work and to Landesa for the support,” he added.
He said the LLA cannot do it all by itself, thus with the support and help from partners, Liberia’s land sector will get better.
Cllr. Jackson further called on all illegal land sellers, including those who continue to falsify land documents to desist from such practice.
He said the LLA is committed to ensuring that the right thing is done, but that will mean land buyers visiting the LLA offices across the country for technical advice and support before going in to purchase land.
This he said will minimize land disputes and conflicts, as well as promote and protect individual purses.
Cllr. Kula L. Jackson further called on the leadership of the CLDMC to take their work seriously to commence the next step. He said since education comes with stages, hence the process of acquiring statutory land deeds requires six established steps, and the CSI is just one.
However, at the end of the certification, representatives from the three communities praised the LLA, DEN-L, and Landesa, and as well appealed that Landesa continues to help in formalizing their lands.