The Volta Regional Office of the Lands Commission, has held a day’s sensitisation workshop for chiefs and queen mothers from the Avenor Traditional Area on the Land Act.
The event, held at the Akatsi South Municipal Assembly Hall in the Volta Region, enabled the Commission to explain to the participants what the Act entailed and how it would shape and guide land administration in the Municipality and beyond.
Mr Mark Gudu, the Acting Volta Regional Lands Officer, who led a team of officials to the Municipality, in an engagement with the participants, indicated that the encounter forms part of continuous efforts and plans of the Commission to ensure that all key stakeholders remained well-informed about their roles and responsibilities under the new Land Act.
He stated that the Commission acknowledges the important role of traditional rulers and community heads in the country and commended them for availing themselves of the encounter.
He stated that the Land Act, organised into three Parts and 283 Sections, namely, Interest and Rights in Land, Land Administration and Land Management, and Offences and Miscellaneous Provisions, was assented into Law by the President on December 23, 2020, (Act 1036) after extensive consultation, which also provided a unique opportunity to positively transform the land administration story of Ghana.
“The object of the Act is to harmonize and consolidate all laws on the land to improve land administration and ensure sustainable land management.”
Highlighting the Act, Mr Gugu touched on some sections which included Restrictions on the Acquisition of Land by Non-Citizens, Prohibition of Discriminatory Practice, as well as Section 277 which explained the various offences in the Act.
Discussions were also centered on issues of Compensation, Women’s inheritance, and Spousal Rights, Land Declarations, determining individual family boundaries, and having proper Layouts.
Mr Gugu also took participants through some other Essential Features of the Land Act where he emphasised “the provision on the creation of customary land secretariats (CLS), which has now been provided for in sections 13-18 in Act 1036.
This, he said, would ensure there was an avenue for accountability and transparency that was required in the management of the land resources available to our various traditional areas.”
The engagement, according to Mr Gudu, would be extended to all Traditional Areas in the region.
Mr Raphael Ameku, Secretary to the Avenor Traditional Council on behalf of Togbe Dorglo Anumah VI, President of the Council, explained to the GNA that traditional authorities play critical roles as custodians of land “which makes it imperative for them to appreciate the laws that govern land administration in the country.”
Participants were also exposed to understanding the implication of instigating or participating in activities that interfere with the legitimate interest of others, popularly known as “Landguardism” and the consequence of jail terms of five to 15 years as stated in Section 12.
They were also educated on the provision of Section 11,7 which explained the importance of ensuring land was properly planned and schemes provided to ensure effective management.
Mr Joseph Dzawui, Regional Land Valuation Head, Mr Gilbert Kobla Quashie, Regional Surveyor and Head of the Survey and Mapping Division were part of the entourage that engaged the traditional leaders.