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13.07.2005 General News

Compensation for all lands would be impossible


Busua (W/R), July 13, GNA - Dr Odame Larbi, Project Director of the Ghana Land Administration Project (LAP), has said the government would not be in a position to pay compensation for thousands of hectares of land acquired for projects in the interest of the people. He said there is no doubt about the fact that compensations were not paid for some lands acquired by previous governments for projects such as the Akosombo Dam and that LAP is preparing to "dialogue" with owners of such lands.

This notwithstanding, Dr Larbi said, those who have been pursuing the issue in the law courts have every right to go ahead to achieve redress. He was addressing a day's workshop for paramount and divisional chiefs, queens and other landowners from seven traditional areas in the Western Region at Busua on Tuesday.

It was on customary boundary demarcation for the traditional areas that have common borders with Wassa Amenfi area, and the role expected of these traditional leaders for the success of the project. The others areas are Wassa Fiase, Denkyira, Aowin, Sefwi, Ainyinase and Basake.

Participants include representatives of land sector agencies, district assemblies, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders.

Dr Larbi appealed to chiefs and other landowners to adopt a "give and take" attitude to arrive at a compromise on issues of compensations and land demarcation to ensure peace and harmony for steady development.

Dr Larbi said Wassa Amenfi and Ejisu in the Ashanti Region have been selected as pilot areas for the nationwide land demarcation that would be extended to other traditional areas of the country later. He said boundary demarcation, land valuation and registration, surveying, plan preparation and acceptance are only part of the first phase of the three phase 15-year land administration project to bring sanity into land ownership and administration in the country. Dr Larbi said all the six land sector agencies would be brought together as one institution to enhance land administration and eliminate inefficiency and corrupt practices that result in protracted litigations.

''It is envisaged that boundary demarcations would enhance the management of other natural resources for wealth creation, ensure security of tenure and enhance the value of land.'' Dr Larbi said this would also improve investment opportunities and minimise land disputes.

He called for closer collaboration among stakeholders, particularly traditional councils, LAP, district assemblies, community-based organisations and ministries, departments and agencies to ensure the success of the land administration project.