Top: Leaders of Klay and Senjeh districts receiving one of the certificates from Liberia Land Authority’s Varney G. Jalah (far right). The DayLight/Esau J. Farr
By Esau J. Farr
BOMI COUNTY- Seven clans in Bomi County have been certificated by the Liberia Land Authority (LLA) after they identified themselves as landowning communities, the first step in getting their customary land deeds.
They are, Upper Togay, Lower Togay, Manoah and Zepeh Clans. Others are, Kpo, Gomblah and Mannah Clans in Klay and Senjeh Districts.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to achieve what other counties did not achieve,” Clan Chief Arthur Gray of Upper Togay said at a ceremony in Beajah Town, Senjeh District.
Each of the clans has established its land-governing body, known as the community land development and management committee (CLDMC). They also have established bylaws and constitutions, per the Land Rights Act.
They bring to 81 customary communities that have self-identified since the passage of the law in 2018, according to Lincoln Flomo, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Liberia Land Authority. The clans are the first in Bomi, Flomo added.
The law recognizes communities’ ownership of land but lays out a process they must complete to get deeds.
Next, each clan will have to map its land area, features and boundaries with neighboring communities. Upon completing those steps, the Land Authority will cut agreed boundaries between the clans and their neighbors, conduct an official survey and give them customary deeds.
Currently, eight communities have received customary deeds countrywide, while four are awaiting theirs having completed the legal process, according to Flomo.