National, News

Lack of clear land policy hinders development

Land image/Courtesy photo

By Adia Jildo

The Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development Michael Chiengjiek said lack of clear land policy is hindering development activities in the country.

The government in  collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization is reviewing the Land Policy 2014.

“You cannot have investors if you don’t have proper land policy because at the end of the day, land policy is what investors wants so that it secures their property, makes them feel that they are operating in a country that has policy,” Chiengjiek said.

He said the delay in the passing of the land policy was due to different views from politicians who misunderstood the meaning of the policy.

Chiengjiek explained that some politicians wanted to have their own views about land policy instead of looking forward to the future plans on land.

“Some people don’t understand what land policy means. They just confine themselves to the constitution that says, land belong to the communities,” he cited.

He said land dispute would only be eliminated with a proper land policy.

“Our sub-Saharan region has so many issues especially on the issue of land but it is because of lack of good land policy. If we have good policy, there will be no problems,” he said.

He added that the government will be able to regulate activities that happen according to the land policy and not taking land from communities.

He said the development of land policy will be able to solve land disputes in the future.

Robert Benjamin, the chairperson for land commission said during his presentation that poor land policy and mechanism has left people unable to co-exist together leading to conflict and tensions.

“In IGAD region, we are the only ones who do not have land policy. We have brokers and agents but not investors because investors follow land policy of the country,” Benjamin said.

He accused some chiefs selling land to foreigners and foreigners not being told about land policy in the country.

He added that misunderstanding has made people to doubt their status and security of their property.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s country Representative Meshack Malo said land issues has been hotspot of conflict due to poor land system.

“South Sudan can be able to exit from food aid. South Sudan has no business at all receiving food aid given wonderful resources,” he cited.

He said factors such as poor land policy when handled will enhance productivity of farmers at the local level.  

He called for the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development to work earnestly for a quick resolution so as to fight hunger by investing in the food and agriculture projects.

Commissioners from the ten states and three administrative areas convened to discuss last stage of the land policy in South Sudan in Juba. The land policy is at its final stage before it would be submitted to the parliament.

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