Land Conflicts; Causes and Solutions

Land Conflicts
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Conflict seems to be an integral part of life, most especially, in recent times. According to Margenthan 1973, “At every point in human life, conflict seems to pervade relationships.”
Land as a natural and fixed asset makes it vulnerable in terms of proportionate distribution of it to the public as a whole. It is with no doubt that certain forms of displeasure in interests between and among communities, clans, families and individuals prevail.

Causes of Land Conflicts in Ghana

The causes of land conflict can be appropriately discussed under the following headings; administrative, legal or juridical and customary.

On a first note, the weak Ghanaian land markets are to blame for some of the land disputes in the country. The land markets are not well equipped to provide easy and quick access to information regarding land related variables such as, land availability, plot prices, parcel externalities and conditions, among others. In other words, the lack of land information systems has been an influencing factor to land conflicts in Ghana. The lack of land information systems results in multiple sales of parcels and encroachments which are the nation’s threatening factors.

Again, practices such as land speculation, land grabbing and other forms of land hoarding techniques in the land market tend to cause a short supply of land to the numerous demands in the market. These practices threaten the security of tenure hence subsequent conflicts arise.

Administratively, there has been an insufficient implementation of regulations by land sector institutions. Regulations which are meant to monitor and regulate the actions of land users are left idle. Users, therefore, take advantage of this and transact deals within their own whims and caprices which may sometimes trample upon the interest of other users hence causing land conflicts.

The lack of communication, cooperation and coordination among land sector institutions is yet another course for land conflicts to arise. These institutions are supposed to work hand in hand for a common good. However, other institutions work without the knowledge of colleague institutions which results in technical errors. These errors tend to render transactions inaccurate and misleading which obviously are prone to causing land disputes. Lack of responsibility and insufficient control of state lands are some other administrative causes of land conflict.

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