National, News

Scarcity of expertise worsens land woes -Academician

By William Madouk

A land expert from the University of Juba said the lack of qualified land management professionals aggravated land woes across the country.

Dr. Duku Wani, an assistant professor of land and management at the University of Juba said the country has only three individuals with master’s degrees in land management.

“As far as I know, as a specialist in land, we have no qualified land management officers in the states. In the ministry, in fact, we have no urban and regional planners,” said Duku.

“We have only one in the national ministry, one at the University of Juba, and one at the state. So you can see the big difficulty we have,” he underlined.

Since the country gained its independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011, there have been a lot of crises in land ownership.

These deep-seated grievances about land ownership seriously fuel conflict, hatred, division, and tribalism among the communities.

But Dr. Duku said that to solve the matter, the university has established the Department of Land Management within the School of Architecture and Land Management, Urban and Regional Planning to train professionals.

“At this point in time, we have about 120 students who are in their first year—I mean, semester two now. And then next year, we’ll have a second class,” he revealed.

“We want to train specialists in land, which is the only institution now doing that in South Sudan,” Duku continued.

He added that after training, they would embark on disseminating information on land governance, land management, land tenure, land use and planning so that land is less conflicted.

“We will, in the short term, plan short training so that we really get people who are working in the field to be trained on land administration so that they can mitigate the issues of land conflict now occurring in the country,” he stressed.

Dr. Duku said they are teaming up with the South Sudan Land Alliance and the Standing Specialized Committee on Land at the national parliament to do dissemination on land ownership, policy, and acquisition.

According to him, the rampant land conflicts could only be resolved when there were technical people who knew land conflict resolution, proper land administration, and arbitration on land.

“We are really willing, happy, and on standby to get this done within the shortest possible time. Our challenge may be the funding because it’s not easy to come up with funding,” he noted.

The land expert cited that the specialized committee on land in the parliament can play its oversight roles and legislation, while ministers at national and state levels, including state governors, can play their parts to bring the ongoing land menace to an end.


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