The Liberian government recently opened a Land Cadastre Training Laboratory equipped with modern softwares and equipment to advance surveying in the country. The goal of the new laboratory is to train young surveyors on how to establish a digitized land cadastre system.
According to the Deputy Minister for Operations at the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy, Sam Russ, surveyors were still using the archaic survey methods that do not properly demarcate property boundaries and that this is compiling the controversy over land-ownership.
Meanwhile, what has claimed our attention is that Liberia has about 70 registered surveyors, many of whom are aging and are said to be lacking the basic skills in using modern survey technology; a situation which is said to be contributing immensely to the mammoth land insecurity issues prevalent in the country.
Minister Russ said, “To mitigate this problem the Ministry is on a rigorous mission to train a new generation of cadastral surveyors who will not only manage spatial data but move land administration in Liberia into the digital age.”
However, it is reported that funds to keep the laboratory running have reached a stalemate and if the country is to combat land crisis that is currently plaguing it, more resources and attention has to be focused on the lab to keep it motivating younger and better skilled surveyors.
We are happy that government has identified a problem, if not the major problem, that is responsible for the uprising in land ownership in the country and it is our hope that those who are being trained are introduced to this new technology so that they will be at their best in tackling the perceived future conflict head-on.
We also welcome the training laboratory which is aimed at setting up a system for the protection of government’s records and we hope that this initiative will be supported and not introduced as mere scheme to outcast those aging surveyors; as the issue of support has already begun to emerge.
The issue of land ownership is glaring and one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand its emergency, and the need to address it realistically is a matter that must be dealt with squarely, therefore we hope that what is experienced in the past with the opening of training institutions will not be experienced in this case.
The initiative is welcoming and we encourage the young surveyors to do their best in attaining such knowledge and as well develop innovations coupled with their own passion that would match the skills so that they would also address the surmounting land issues and bring relief to the citizenry.