The Government has received a US$2.1 million in grant funding from the Korea Overseas International Corporation Agency (KOICA), which will be used to facilitate the delivery of land surveys for at least 1,000 needy households in St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill made the disclosure on July 24, in his contribution to the 2012/13 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House.
The surveys, which will be undertaken under the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), "will help us to accelerate the delivery of some long overdue land settlement titles," he said. This project is scheduled to get underway in September of this year.
Minister Pickersgill informed that as part of the initiative, the Project Management Unit will receive much needed equipment valued at $80.9 million (US$910,000) “which will significantly improve its ability to manage the total number of files, which is now over 23,000, as well as to enhance the customer service experience of its clients, its tenure regularisation and clarification activities, and ultimately help to produce more registered titles”.
In addition, the Minister informed that support is also being sought from the Petro Caribe Fund in the amount of J$18 million, to help to deliver another 1,000 titles to beneficiaries whose titles are in the vault at LAMP, but who have severe difficulties in completing payments.
Meanwhile, he said that theGovernment is moving to enhance the island’s surveying capacity with the establishment of the Virtual Reference System (VRS).
The VRS will provide for an advanced positioning and navigation system, which will facilitate real time surveying as well as mapping and data collection services 24-hours per day from anywhere across the island.
Minister Pickersgill said the system, which was instituted at a cost of over $30 million, allows surveyors to produce survey plans that can be tied into the national grid at a cheaper and more efficient rate.
"The land surveyors must now seek to equip themselves to take advantage of the VRS. In due course, we will implement new Regulations under the Land Surveyors Act to ensure that all plans are tied into the national grid and can be used to build the national cadastral map. This map we need to make land titling cheaper and more efficient," he said.