GREENVILLE, Sinoe – The Liberia Land Authority has launched a 12-day community outreach awareness program in Sinoe.
Adams Manobah, the chair of LLA, announced that the awareness program aimed to educate the public about various features of the Land Rights Act and other laws that pertain to land use and management. He noted that the outreach would cover all of Sinoe, including hard-to-reach communities.
“We want to use this occasion to officially declare to all of you here, especially our community people, that your customary rights to land ownership are finally restored,” he said, adding that it did not matter whether the land was deeded or not.
The superintendent of Sinoe, Lee Nagbe Chea, who also attended the launch, expressed gratitude to the president for keeping his promise and signing the Land Rights Act into law. He noted that the law had restored rights to communities across the country.
Chea called on participants of the launch to serve as ambassadors in their respective communities by sharing the information they received.
Meanwhile, Ellen Pratt, one of the commissioners at the LLA, cautioned attendees to avoid confrontation and always engage LLA’s local offices across the country to access the information on land issues.
Over 150 participants attended the launch from across Sinoe.
Since Liberia passed the Land Rights Act in 2018, advocates for the protection of customary land rights have cautioned that implementation would take time and resources that were not necessarily provided to the LLA.
In Sinoe, where oil palm company Golden Veroleum signed an agreement with the government to operate a 543,600-acre concession, rights groups filed a complaint that the company has been clearing forests on customary land without the approval of communities. On February 4 this year, the High Carbon Stock Approach, a group that Golden Veroleum’s owner is a part of, agreed that the company had breached land rights in its actions and recommended that the company cease any development until further investigations are done.
Featured photo by Teahwleh Geeplay