Environmental and Land Problems: Tribute to Buba Jammeh and Faraba Victims
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
By Omar A J Saho
#Environmental & Land Problems: Tribute to Buba Jammeh and Faraba Victims
In many parts of Africa, indigenous people have special relation to their land. For many people and to local communities, land is more than an economic or productive asset. It represents home, provides security, binds families / wards together with their past, present and future, and it as well represents a greater part of their history and spirituality.
Finding solutions to environmental and land-related conflicts in The Gambia, and other parts of Africa is key to promoting peaceful coexistence and maintaining security across the continental Africa. It is very vital to realise that land reform is essential in resolving land conflicts.
Effective land reforms may reduce land related conflicts, foster stability and security in local communities, and in a nation as whole. Though, land reform processes when inadequately conceptualised and implemented it can in further result in escalating the problem in discussion.
Enforcing rigid policies and establishing strong institutions will be of particular importance to address environmental and land conflicts in The Gambia. Important elements such as equity, efficiency, transparency, public participation and security, and traditional values are significant components that we cannot afford to miss within the equation.
Revisiting and addressing the root cause of: state vs. community land ownership claims, community vs. individual and ward vs. individual elements over land rights are issues that can't be solved by ignoring them. Environmental and land related issues need immediate attention, mediation, negotiation, and clarifications on ownership issues.
Raising awareness about the importance of land registration, documenting land sharing paperworks, implementing land use planning, and land mapping / boundary demarcation needs to be greatly improved. In addition, rebuilding land administration and management agencies responsible for policy implementation and policy enforcement deserves greater priority and needs to be properly constituted at regional and national level.
In conclusion, I pay tribute to late Buba Jammeh of Gunjur who was murdered at his land in 2019, and to the Faraba Banta victims who died in protecting their environment in 2018, against commercial sand mining.