Landowners collect titles in St Mary
Three lucky families received certificates of title for their land during a brief handover ceremony at the National Land Agency (NLA) office in Port Maria, St Mary, on Thursday.
The ceremony, which was attended by Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill is part of an innovative collaboration between the NLA and the South Korean government and the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP).
According to the minister, the project, which aimed to utilise cadastral mapping to create more than 1,000 land titles across St Mary, St Ann, and Portland, was a resounding success.
He said: "I am pleased that 1,005 surveys were actually completed in record time. This is a testament to the discipline and hard work of the Korean team, which completed the cadastral surveys in nine months instead of two years.
"The commissioner of lands has now produced 873 titles and the remaining 132 are being processed. A total of 223 (persons) have already collected their titles, and today, I am pleased to say that three more people will collect their titles here and become part of the 'ownership society' that my administration has given a commitment to build.
"As we enable and empower another three recipients, I want to urge them to use their titles productively. I must also mention the further investment under the LAMP II extension, which has injected an initial US$2 million with the option to invest a further US$26 million over a 10-year period. "
Speaking immediately after the ceremony, Winnifred Thompson said she was overjoyed to finally receive her title after many years of failed attempts.
She told The Gleaner: "I came here with my husband Rudolph to collect and it really feels great to know we've finally got it after 20 years of struggling.
"We're very grateful because now we have the title in our hands and we can do whatever we want. Not having a title had kept us back in some of the things we were trying to do, but now, we can move forward without any fears. Now, we can all sit down, talk, and plan what we are going to do."