The actions according to the Minister was part of the ministry’s effort in changing the perception that people are encroaching and grabbing government lands and the forest reserve areas dubbing it “business as usual”
Infrastructural development and roads in particular are key indicators to show the economic development of a country. A well planned country is not just about having beautiful houses in areas that they aren’t supposed to be.
The President Ernest Bai Koroma during the commissioning of the Regent- Grafton Highway cautioned that on no account, houses must be erected on various pathways on the Regent – Grafton axis. It is in that direction that the Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment, Diana Konomanyi and his Deputy Musa Tarawally led senior staff in the ministry on a demolition exercise at the Mogaba village in the Regent Grafton axis.
The demolition involves a three story structure that was stationed at Mugaba Junction by a Lebanese businessman, who according to him acquired the document and building permit from a legal worker at the ministry.
Madam Konomanyi said it is time people started taking the words of the President with seriousness, while noting that as the minister of lands she would not handle such issues with levity.
She pointed out that the present acute water shortage at various locations in the country’s capital is as a result of the uncontrollable nature people’s behavior toward the environment citing the deforestation of the protected areas.
Meanwhile, the Minister had cautioned others whose houses had already been marked to abide by the two weeks grace period that had been granted them, while noting that if they fail to do so they would have nobody to blame should their household properties destroyed.
The Deputy Minister in the Ministry of lands, Country Planning and Environment, Mamoud Tarawally also blamed officials in the ministry for the lots of illegal squatters on protected areas across the capital, while cautioning community elders to desist from illegal dealings on land.
He reiterated that as a Minister they are going to stamp hard on all those whose houses fall within the wrong area, as most of what they understand is that the wealthier ones are mostly the perpetrators of government decisions.
However, with allegations reaching the Ministry on land guards engaging themselves on land dealing, this Mr. Tarawally noted would be seriously looked into.
The demolition exercise according to environmental advocators was a welcome move, as the said area had long been earmarked as a no go zone by the President Koroma.