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18.03.2009 Regional News

Findings on land use in Upper East Region presented


Research findings on land use plan in the Upper East Region revealed that most of the lands institutions in the region only operated with development plans without land use procedures.

The Advocacy Officer of Trade Aid Ghana, Mr. Richard Ananga, who presented the report at Bolgatamga, expressed worry about the spate of sales of lands in the region to estate developers.

He said that it would have been better to encourage investors to buy lands to establish industries to create jobs for the people.

Findings of research carried out in 7 districts out of the nine districts in the region, said there was no effective collaboration between the land user agencies and offices.

The report said that most of the urban areas were planned but the outskirts were not planned and land boundaries were not created.

It said that landowners and stakeholders were not directly involved in the evolutions and preparation of planning schemes.

The finding said due to the cumbersome and bureaucratic nature of purchasing and acquiring lands, especially the high cost of legal and administrative procedure, majority of people purchased land without the necessary documentation.

It said that some traditional rulers and land agents became aware of the situation after lands had been purchased.

The report indicated that there was little compliance of approved land plan and lands are predominantly sold on the basis of mobilizing funds to perform funerals.

It recommended that Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies should create land banks to make land acquisition problem-free to investors.

The Findings also requested that the assemblies should ensure a systematic procedure for acquisition of land for economic activities, which should include the drawing and implementation of lands use plans and involvement of all necessary stakeholders in the development planning process.

It recommended that the assemblies should plan all the potential growth areas and educate the public on the need to follow the right procedures in acquisition of lands.

The research recommended a reduction in the bureaucratic and cumbersome nature, especially the legal and administrative cost involves in land acquisitions.

The Tindamas Association (Land Title Holders) in the Region initiated the research that was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Centre (BUSAC) to address land problems in the region.

The Regional Chairman of the Association, Mr. Adongo Anafo commended BUSAC for funding the research and said the findings would be coordinated and documented.

He said the association would meet district assemblies and land institutions and other stakeholders and discuss the findings and strategize ways of addressing land issues in the area.