Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, said the government intends to make “big strides” this year in resolving land tenure issues that continue to marginalise and exclude the majority of Jamaicans from secure land ownership.
He said the government is seriously concerned that the majority of landowners still do not have registered titles for the property they occupy, and the “situation where titled land ownership remains an elusive dream for ordinary Jamaicans cannot be allowed to continue”.
“We know that this (acquiring a land title) is one of the best ways to empower our people to improve themselves, build better communities and ultimately build a better nation, not to mention their homes,” he stated.
The Minster was addressing a Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP) title handing over ceremony held on April 26, at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School auditorium.
Approximately 50 residents from the parish received land titles for property that they occupy.
Minister Pickersgill congratulated the recipients, likening the acquisition of a land title to earning a diploma on graduating for school.
“It might be a simple piece of paper, but what a diploma represents is years of learning, your sweat and tears and sometimes the sweat and tears of your parents and teachers…similarly a title could also be regarded as a simple piece of paper, but it represents your sweat, tears and hard earned money invested in your own little piece of the rock, Jamaica,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Custos of St. Elizabeth, Hon. Wilfred Nembhard, commended the work of LAMP, noting that the programme is a “key spoke in the wheel of rural development” and preventing the drift to urban areas.
Member of Parliament for North Eastern St. Elizabeth, Raymond Pryce, expressed gratitude on behalf of the residents.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter