August 3, 2021

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Land Authority Launches US$7M Pilot Project to Recognize, Record Rights of Landowners

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The Land Use Management (LUM) of the Liberia Land Authority in collaboration with the Monrovia City Corporation on Thursday, March 25, launched a pilot project to develop a land-use inventory database to collect information about the current state of land use in the country.

The pilot project, with support from the World Bank, is expected to target several communities beginning from 1st Street up to and including 12th Street, Monrovia.

In her opening remarks, Ellen O. Pratt, the Commissioner for LUM, said the pilot project will focus on communities from 1st Street to 12th Street because those areas, according to her, “are in a high growth corridor that includes varied property types including residential, offices, mixed-use development, commercial, informal settlement, and unplanned development.”

Pratt said the pilot project will develop multiple purpose land use inventory, a section of Urban Monrovia (first Street to 12th Street), a map of the targeted area showing all parcels in the pilot, a temporary GIS-based data management platform to store the pilot data, data assembly and equality control, and data analysis phase.

It can be recalled that in 2018, the LLA received a grant of US$7 million from the World Bank to strengthen its capacity and to establish a land administration system.

It has four-component support to the LLA, piloting of systematic registration of customary land, development of a land administration system and project coordination, monitor and evaluation. “The pilot project,” Pratt said, “will help us to acquire more realistic and updated information about the current status of land use in our country.”

She also said the project is designed to collect several data variables, including boundaries of land parcel, which are expected to be linked to other data sets as deed documents, building types, building use, zoning classification, tax-related data, and status of any dispute over the land/ building types in order to develop the cadastral Index map.”

She said the project once implemented by the LLA will also involve field enumeration, drone photography, GIS, and door-to-door survey of existing structures and properties within the project area.

Also in her intervention, P. Bloh Sayeh, Vice Chairperson of the LLA, said the digital project will help in the development of a Cadastral Index Map that will facilitate greater efficiency and use of resources, as well as allow the LLA staff to utilize technology to build and strengthen their capacity.

Madam Sayeh said the project will make it easier, accessible, and searchable, in the case of land deed search. “This will make our people not to go through the manual way of mapping out their land space, or deed. “

She said the Cadastral Maps will be yet another component of the LLA’s plan to fully integrate a digital land administration information system. The launch is an indication of LLA’s commitment to providing the basic infrastructure on which a modern information management system can be built.

Earlier, Samuel F. Kpakio, the Director of LUM, lauded the attendance of the beneficiaries of the pilot project, the community leaders.

Kpakio informed the community leaders that they were very much important in the success of the pilot project.

“We will assemble you as a team to go from house to house in your community to create awareness about the enumeration process there,” the LUM Director.

“The project is not to take away anyone’s land, but to make us to have accurate information about the land use, residential, offices, mixed-use development, commercial, informal settlement and unplanned development for taxes and other development purposes,” he said.

“We want you to take ownership of this pilot project by helping us to collect landowner data and make residents aware of the program and its benefits,” he added.