In Gbarnga, Bong County, LLA Embarks on Demolition of Makeshift Structures Along Major Streets

By: Matalay Kolkie,

GBARNGA, Bong: With authorization from the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Bong County, the Liberia Land Authority Bong Chapter has begun the demolition of makeshift structures occupying government lands, especially on major streets in Gbarnga and its environs.

The disclosure was made by the Liberia Land Authority Bong County Administrator Victor Brown. Two months ago, the Land Authority Office in the county notified illegal occupants of government lands in the county to disengage from occupying government lands with makeshift structures.

Section 8.1 of the 2016 Land Authority Act of Liberia states that without prejudice to the generality of section 7.1 of and above, the Land Governance functions of the Authority shall be to control and manage effectively, impartially, and in the interest of equitable development, access to the use of Public Land, and Government Land, except Reserved Protected Areas and Diplomatic missions as of the effective date of this Act.

Section 7.1 of the 2016 Land Authority Act also provides that the primary mandate of the Authority is to develop policies continuously, undertake actions, and implement programs for land governance.

The exercise, according to Administrator Brown, is intended to give a facelift to Gbarnga and other cities in Bong.
It is also intended to attract the attention of investors to the county.

“Since the formation of Bong county in 1964, there has been no good improvement in Gbarnga city because people who are occupying government properties are not willing to develop the City, and if Gbarnga city is to be compared to other cities like Ganta, we must effectuate the laws” Brown added.

Mr. Victor Brown further told reporters that phase one of the demolition exercise is targeting Duala-Old Iron Gate while phase two will be extended to the Gbarnga main street and other major streets in the city.

Moreover, the Bong County Land Administrator said his office has given a 14-day ultimatum to illegal occupants of government properties in Gbarnga to safely remove their structures; noting that failure to adhere to the mandate, his office will take the initiative to demolish those structures.

“There are people who received funding from the government during the construction of roads in the county and those people are in the habit of renting these areas to people for business purposes, but those people have appealed to our office to give them two two-week ultimatum to remove their structures, so our office have granted them that permission, but failure to do so, we will take the responsibility to demolish those structures” Brown warned.

At the same time, Mr Victor Brown said the demolition exercise will be extended to Suakoko, Totota, and other commercial cities in the county, adding that illegal occupants of government properties in those eye-marked cities have been informed about the exercise.

Administrator Brown also disclosed that the LLA is working in full cooperation with the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in the county to effectuate this mandate; thus warning citizens to exhibit tolerance for those involved in the process.

Meanwhile, Mr Brown stated that after the demolition of the makeshift structures along the main streets of Gbarnga, the county leadership, in consultation with its engineer will design plans for structures to be built on these lands.

According to him, individuals who will be financially incapacitated to live up to the leadership’s mandate will be compelled to turn their area over to those who are financially stable to construct such structural design.

The Liberia Land Authority Bong County Administrator believes if Gbarnga City is to be developmentally compared to other counties capitals in Liberia; the Land Authority Law needs to be enforced.

“People who have shops on the front view of the streets will have to lease their areas to investors if they cannot live up to the mandate from the Liberia Land Authority” Mr. Brown added.

Mr. Brown is however, calling on residents of Bong County, especially illegal occupants of government properties to cooperate with the demolition team to avoid further embarrassment.

He disclosed this to a team of reporters on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at his LLA office in Gbarnga.

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