Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Dalley promises swifter access to land titles
MARK CUMMINGS, Observer staff reporter
Friday, January 11, 2002

WESTERN BUREAU -- Horace Dalley, the minister with portfolio responsibility for land, yesterday said that the titles office would be reorganised to ensure swifter access to titles by land owners.

"We have established tenure as our number one priority because there are so many hundreds of thousands of people in Jamaica who have no tenure to their lands," Dalley said at the official launch of the US$8-million Ridge to Reef Watershed project in Montego Bay.

"There are land settlements that were established from 1944, 1948, 1950 and up to today the people have no tenure," Dalley said.

The minister said other areas in his ministry to get attention include the management of the country's watershed, the restoration of the Kingston Harbour, customer service delivery and the orderly development of the country's infrastructure.

The Ridge to Reef Watershed project is a collaborative effort between the United States Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Jamaica.

It began just over a year ago and is expected to last for another four years. USAID has committed US$6 million to the project, while the government of Jamaica will provide the remainder.

The project is designed to improve the natural resources in the Great River watershed in western Jamaica and the Rio Grande watershed in the eastern part of the island.

According to Mark Nolan, chief officer at the Ridge to Reef Watershed Project, the programme seeks to address soil erosion, flooding and poor water conditions in a comprehensive manner that incorporates all the government agencies and communities that need to be involved.

Over the past year, the project team has been working to develop initiatives directed at reducing soil erosion and pollution, improving land management practices, providing clear and environmental awareness and creating a vibrant and viable market network.