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Bo stakeholders cautioned on land policy

Bo stakeholders cautioned on land policy

The Bo District Council in collaboration with Wealth Hunger Hilfe (WHH) has ended the forth stakeholders’ forum on land policy guidelines on large-scale land acquisition.

The Bo District Council is working in collaboration with the Wealth Hunger Hilfe through the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment. The session brought together the 15 Paramount Chiefs of Bo District, Members of Parliament representing Constituencies 068, 071, 073, 077 and 076, development partners, civil society organizations, religious leaders, women’s groups and councilors from the Bo District Council.

In his keynote address, the Minister of State South, Muctarr Conteh, attributed the economical land use as a significant factor in its proper utilization as mandated by the constitution of this country.  He said Paramount Chiefs are custodians of land who should supervise it in trust of landowning family members.

The Resident Minister said Paramount Chiefs should guide the land’s proper utilization that will bring benefit to the families, chiefdoms and the entire country.

Minister Conteh cited the constitutional review process as a key document that chiefs and other stakeholders should make meaningful inputs into.  He encouraged Paramount Chiefs to work alongside the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to avoid deforestation and encourage re-forestation.

In his statement, the Planning Adviser of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Dr. Alphajor Cham, said the process of validation undertaken by the Bo District Council in collaboration with WHH is in the right direction.  He encouraged proper land management and adherence to Government regulations.

Dr. Alphajor Cham said population increase and economic activities have triggered high demand for land by citizens and investors which he said has made the Lands Ministry to roll out the national draft policies for the proper use of land in Sierra Leone.

The Programme Manager of Wealth Hunger Hilfe Bo, Dr. Hans-Peter Mueller, said his organization operates in Bo, Kenema, Pujehun and Kailahun districts.

Hon. Jusufu B. Mansaray of 073 stressed on the important roles stakeholders should play in the drafting and rolling out of land policy, noting that land issue is a big problem in the whole.

The Chairman Bo District Council, Joseph Munda Bindi and all collaborating partners watched as the Paramount Chiefs and the beneficiaries validated the national land policy and guidelines for large-scale land acquisition.

By Hassan Juana Koroma in Bo

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