Mr Momodou Aki Bayo, made this disclosure while speaking to The Standard on Saturday on the sidelines of the validation workshop of his ministry’s strategic and action plan 2015 to 2019.
He said that the initiative forms part of his ministry’s ambitious plans to enhance and modernise land administration and local governance in the country.
He said: “Digital land maps will minimise land dispute, ensure effective planning of settlement areas and land allocations. The effective implementation of the digital land map project will address some critical settlement issues induced by urbanisation, increase in population, thus leading to effective planning of the growth centres to correspond to the population growth.”
He added: “As far as the Ministry of Lands and Regional Governments is concerned, we are targeting not beyond 2016 for us to implement this digital map for The Gambia. It is going to be expensive. But it is fundamentally important and we will try to the best of our ability, together with other stakeholders, to get this exercise done. When you are able to have a country map professionally done, a lot of disputes on land are minimised. The element of it that the ministry has in mind is to make is possible that by the click of a keyboard, one will be able to know who owns a given land, where et cetera. That will avoid double allocation and all the consequences that follow.
The other merits of the digital map, according to him, include: “The digital map will also help us determine which area of land is allocated for what purpose, whether agriculture, residential and even markets. It will also help us to determine the history of the land in terms of belongings, time at which the person owns the land, for which purpose and of course the status; that is, whether the land has been developed or not. This has been a challenge for us and we are very determined to make sure that this happens. If you go to certain places, you find unnecessary traffic congestion because there is no town planning. The plans that were there are now outdated. If you go to Dubai you will be amazed by how the cities were planned and that is what we want to do. Urbanisation is one of the critical challenges that we face.”
In his view, this proposed initiative will also help in tackling the challenge of population growth in relation to the growth of urban centres. “Population growth is increasing very rapidly and unfortunately, the planning of the growth centres are not corresponding to the population growth. You find it hard to even locate a market in some places. Houses are everywhere and markets are not spacious at all because they have not been planned and this is what we want to address before 2017,” he said.]]>