Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Titleless land owners displaced for bauxite told to keep hope alive

Published:Thursday | May 28, 2015 | 5:00 AM

There is a glimmer of hope for persons who have sold their lands to bauxite companies, have resettled, but have still not been able to obtain a title for the land on which they live.

Robert Pickersgill, the minister with responsibility for land, said in Parliament on Tuesday that the Government has entered into an arrangement with one bauxite company for the production of titles, and that a similar memorandum of understanding (MoU) is to be signed tomorrow.

"You would know that when the bauxite company is acquiring land where the ore resides, they would have to transfer the people to other addresses and give them homes and that sort of thing. Well, on numerous occasions, where the people were living they didn't have titles for those places and where they send them to some times, there is no title either," Pickersgill told The Gleaner yesterday.

He said the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) would be a critical partner in the facilitation of the land-titling process, adding that the fees for attorneys and for surveyors are often prohibitive.

Pickersgill also said that LAMP intervention would lead to a significant lowering of those costs and has told affected persons to "keep hope alive".

Making his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives in April, Pickersgill said under an MOU entered into with Noranda Bauxite Company Limited in 2011, LAMP was now seeking to produce titles for 100 parcels of land in St Ann, in the first instance. He said 30 of those titles have already been produced.

Pickersgill also said negotiations were under way for a similar MOU to be entered into with General Alumina Jamaica, formerly Jamalco, to update and clarify just over 3,000 parcels of land in Manchester and Clarendon.