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Liberia's Land Reform made progress in six years -Gov't

Jos Garneo Cepjhas, A Development Journalist
The Chairman of the Special Interim Land Task Force of Liberia,  Dr. Othello Brandy, and USAID- Land Governance Support Activities Projects Chief of Party,  Dr. Mark Marquardt
The Chairman of the Special Interim Land Task Force of Liberia, Dr. Othello Brandy, and USAID- Land Governance Support Activities Projects Chief of Party, Dr. Mark Marquardt

BONG COUNTY, LIBERIA-The Government of Liberia and its international partners say Land Rights and Land Policy Reform have made tremendous strides in six years.

The Chairman of the Special Interim Land Task Force of Liberia, Dr. Othello Brandy, said: "The progress indicates the importance of land and its attachment to livelihood of Liberians.”

Dr. Brandy lauded the Liberian Government and its partners for their support and said: “This achievement would not have been made, if government and partners had not supported the land reform campaign.” He also lauded Liberians for their roles and assured access to land under the reform.

He spoke   Friday, September 9, 2016 in Tubmanburg, Bomi County at the close of another round of regional  training on ‘specialized Land Reporting’ for community radio journalists.

The training was organized by the Interim Land Task Force with support from USAID-Land Governance Support Activities Project in Liberia.

Some beneficiaries of the training program in Tubmanburg City

Responsibilities of the Interim Land Task Force 

a. To engage the Legislature for the speedy passage into law of the Land Authority and the  Land Rights Bills.
b. To coordinate with international donors including USAID and the World Bank, who have expressed interest in supporting the Land Authority when established.
c. To undertake those land related  services that were been  undertaken by the former Land Commission.

USAID-LGSA Interventions

USAID-Land Governance Support Activities Projects (LGSA) Chief of Party,  Dr. Mark Marquardt, said: “The rest of the work we have is to move forward. Liberia made remarkable progress in the last six years in addressing  land issue through research and consultations to try understanding what the situation is, how we got where we are, and develop a vision of where we want to go.”

He said the vision is the Land Right Policy which is the easy part. The harder part is implementation and moving the activities forward to become very much dependent on people, such as the journalists, to explain to the public what we are trying to do and how we are moving this process forward.

Dr. Marquardt told the trainees: “when you are providing information to the public, by reporting, make it being accurate and understanding to the entire population.”

The Land Authority and the Land Rights Bills pending passage

The passage of the Land Authority and the Land Rights Bills into law by the Legislature depends on the implementation of the new land reform in Liberia. Legislative insiders spoke of progress being made to pass the two bills currently before the House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.

One of the bills, the Land  Authority  Bill was earlier on  passed on one hand by the House of Senate but has delayed  for about five months as it  still await concurrence from the Legislature. by the Lower House. 

It  cab be recalled that the recent political crisis at the House of Representatives is one of the situations that  is contributing to the delay in the passage of both bills by the law makers.

The USAID Chief of Party pledged LGSA’s support to the media's efforts to providing public information and awareness in Liberia and noted that his entity is relying on the trained journalists for the effective dissemination of vital information for the larger society to assist the public clearly understand the message and what constitute a bill and how is it passed into law.

Land Reporting Journalists Training to be continued

The third in the series of the sustained and strategic reporting on land issues for media practitioners is currently underway for three days from September 12-14, 2016 in the Central Liberian City of Gbarnga, where Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties are participating as part of  a continue regional  capacity building program.
 

 


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