Report on land grabbing released

Rev. Father  Wisdom Larweh(middle)together with Mr Samuel Akologo,Rev Father Aniedi Okure, Mr Ibrahim Tanko and Mrs Marilyn Aniwai launching the report. Photo Seth OsabukleA report aimed at drawing public attention to the consequences of land grabbing in the country, was launched in Accra on Tuesday.

It is titled, “Unmasking land grabbing in Ghana, restoring livelihoods, paving way for Sustainable Developments Goals’.

The 48-paged report also sought to whip up public support for a national dialogue to address the problem of land grabbing.

It was compiled by the Ghana Catholics Bishops Conference in collaboration with Caritas Ghana, Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Development (CIKOD) DKA Austria, Misereor, and the Africa Faith and Justice Network.

The Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana, Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, said inadequate land management and utilisation policy had created an environment for land grabbing in the country.

The issue, he explained, had a high risk potential of displacing the people and other biodiversity from their original habitats which could lead to grave consequences on fundamental human rights and climate change.

Mr. Akologo noted that “those who grab these large tracts of land do so without consulting the people whose livelihood depend on the land”.

He explained that information gathered from the field revealed some chilling and heartbreaking stories from the level of atrocities and flagrant disregard to peoples well-being.

Mr. Akologo stated that the land grabbers first deceive the communities with vain promises that always pave the way for good intentions but actual results in the end were often disappointing.

“These people exploit loopholes in national legal framework and the ignorance of the communities to under take land deals that have the potential for violence” he said.

He, therefore, urged for a change of mind set towards land grabbing to avoid negative implications on national food security.

The Executive Director of AFJN, Reverend Father (Dr.) Aniedi Okure who described the land grabbing menace as an epidemic blamed African governments for failing in their moral duty to protect what was entrusted in their care for equitable distribution.

Governments he indicated compromise on this noble duty for monetary gains to deprive their people of descent livelihood.

Mr. Akologo said the continent was targeted because local agents always front for such multinational companies who acquire those tracks of land thus leaving their own people in a limbo.

“These multi nationals always target fertile land that have been the source of livelihood for the people and rather cultivate crops that would not benefit the people” he said.

He urged Ghanaians to develop a mindset to always mistrust the perceived investors towards keeping their prime lands.

The Assistant Secretary General of the National Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Father Wisdom Lonwel, expressed optimism that the report would become the spring board for many fruitful steps to roll back the infested mat of land grabbing towards restoring the livelihood of the people.

The church he explained would support every move aimed at honest and open debate for a united effort at saving the earth from destruction.

By  Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu     

 

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