By State House Communication Unit
President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Thursday March 23, 2017, launched the National Land Policy at State House in Freetown. The lack of a National Land Policy over the years has contributed significantly to the current chaotic situation of poor land management, land grabbing and increased land litigations.
One of the key priorities of the Government of Sierra Leone in the Agenda for Prosperity has been the effective and efficient management of land as the aspiration of the policy is to move towards a clearer, more effective and just land tenure system as a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
In a brief statement following the launching of the policy, President Koroma said the policy will address ownership, access and other related issues of land management in the country. He encouraged all to work collaboratively to implement the policy and thanked donors for their support in putting together the policy.
The Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Diana Konomanyi, said the National Land Policy proposes to improve upon and strengthen the existing land administration and management systems. The policy, she stated, maintains the dual land tenure systems in the Western Area and the Provinces. Specifically, it provides a framework for institutional and legal reforms geared towards a more effective land delivery system. She added that the policy will address the land tenure rights, land use planning and regulation, land laws and environmental sustainability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, reduce land disputes and provides for an equitable and fair share of the land system across the country.
In a Power Point presentation, the Deputy Director of Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing, Mr Jobo Samba, said the policy aspires to move to a clearer, more efficient and just land tenure system that shall provide for social and public demands, stimulate responsible investment and form a basis for the nation’s continued development. Mr Samba stated that the policy provides that sovereign title to land belongs to the people of Sierra Leone, dual land system maintained, sovereign power of the state to levy tax on land, land law reform, recognition and protection of land rights without discrimination, state power of development control, redistribution and settlement among others.