‘Towards Sustainable Land Administration’

-Says Dr. Cecil T.O. Brandy, LLA Chairman
The Chairman of the Liberia Land Authority Dr. Cecil T.O. Brandy has underscored the need for a sustainable land administration system in Liberia that takes into account all stakeholders and challenges existing in Liberia’s land sector.
He however pointed out that up to now there are several unresolved issues that the LLA is yet to tackle, adding that the passage into law of the land rights Act at the National Legislature is just one of such issues.Speaking at the formal launching of the Liberia Land Administration Project at the Monrovia office of the World Bank in Congo town yesterday, Dr. Brandy admitted that there are many land disputes in the country and long delays in deciding land related cases, but his Land Authority is seeking means of a parallel means of court adjudication to ensure a speedy trial of land cases, based on models in use and very effective in several neighboring countries.
He thanked the World Bank for providing the amount of USD$7Million for the implementation of the land Administration Project, which will be done in four components, namely: to provide support and capacity building of the Liberia Land Authority, secondly, to provide support for inventory and analysis of tribal land certificates, thirdly, for the development of a land administration system and finally to be used for project coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
Elaborating on each of the four components, Dr. Brandy narrated that the support to the LLA component has been designed based on the existing functions of the LLA as spelt out in the Act creating it, and can be implemented as they await the passage of the Land Rights Act by the House of Senate. It also spells out the functions of the staff of the LLA and includes the drafting of policies, laws, regulations and procedures pertaining to land and the establishment of land related business systems.
He said before the expiration of the life-span of the Land Commission, inventories of tribal certificates were conducted in four of the fifteen counties, namely in Bong, Bomi, Cape Mount, and Montserrado counties and this project funding will be used to conduct it in the remaining 11 counties. He added that what they have realized is that there are many tribal certificates in the hands of ordinary people throughout the country, hence the need to establish a data base of tribal certificates.
“The former contractors including data analysts, scanners, vetters and photographers of the previous tribal certificate projects that were supported by USAID and SIDA are in readiness to commence the project,” Dr. Brandy said. He also spoke of plans to launch a vigorous sensitization and awareness campaigns to ensure that stakeholders and vulnerable groups are adequately informed and the processes are successfully carried out through various communication channels.
He said the development of a land administration system is core to the functions of the LLA and includes supplying and installing the Geodetic Network in order to build up a land administration system that will enable the LLA to fulfill its mandate. In this regards the LLA have also been identified base mapping as a priority for land administration, including land use planning.
According to Dr. Brandy, the fourth component of their implementation of the project will entail focusing on strengthening institutional capacity building of the LLA. “To date, the LLA Project director, project coordinator and the procurement specialist of the project implementation Unit have been recruited and are functional, while the recruitment of other strategic staff members such as the M&E specialist is ongoing.
During the questions and answers period, Dr. Brandy admitted that the project implementation will last for about 5 years, and concerning plans a new system of registry, he said that they are yet to reach a decision on whether the new registry planned will be based on the title deed or deed system, taking into consideration that fake transfer and mother deeds were discovered at the National Archives sometimes ago.
Among personalities who attended the launching program were Mr. Jefferson Cooper, Special Assistant to Internal Affairs Minister, Acting UNDP Head Al-Hassan Sesay, Assistant Finance Minister for External Debt Management, among others. (Writes John Momoh).

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