Squatter Management Database being Developed


The Squatter Management Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands is developing a comprehensive squatter management database to identify informal settlements across the island.
Director of the Unit, Basil Forsythe, told JIS News that the development of the system would provide for accurate data to effectively plan and facilitate interventions to deal with the growing problem of squatting. He noted that the Ministry would be depending on other relevant agencies to provide data for input into the system.
He informed that the development of the database was at the design phase and the Ministry was seeking to acquire the relevant hardware and software to facilitate the smooth implementation and operation of the programme.
The system, he told JIS News, would involve a spatial component, a wide range of socio-economic information and “the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to help with the analysis of information”.
Since the establishment of the Squatter Management Unit in 2006, it has started the process of assisting persons in informal communities to acquire legal tenure, and this is expected to pave the way for regularizing such settlements.
Several site visits have been made to various squatter settlements to gather vital information, which will assist in the making of informed decisions during the process. The Unit is in discussion with the Development Bank of Jamaica to explore the possibility of divesting lands located at Pusey Hall Estate in Rocky Point, Clarendon.
Data from the Ministry indicate that the island has some 595 informal settlements, which approximately 80 per cent located on government-owned lands.
The parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew have the largest number of informal settlements at about 16 per cent.

JIS Social