Land disputes haunt LAA

NEO SENOKO

MASERU – The Land Administration Authority (LAA) has expressed concerns over land disputes which they say comes from issues such as duplications, encroachments and parcel boundaries among other issues. The authority revealed on Wednesday when welcoming the Geographic Information System (GIS) Award (SAG-Award) for best usage of the latest technology, in an effort to advance land administration services in the country. The Director General and Chief Executive, ‘Mataeli Makhele Sekhantšo, revealed in her remarks on Wednesday that issues of land disputes are a concern in their operations.

“As LAA we are entrusted by Government of Lesotho to be the custodian of spatial data and from our experience one of the painful issues within the Lesotho land tenure system is the matter of land disputes which have been proven to come from issues like duplications, encroachments and parcel boundaries, therefore, having a GIS technology in place will assist us with better geographic information. Again, we will be able to offer services online efficiently to our customers and stakeholders,” Sekhantšo said in her remarks.

The award comes as a result of implementing the GIS system project that aims to have an integrated system to manage all land records efficiently in the country. This activity further directly responds to the government’s initiative of improving the investment climate in the country in order to stimulate the economic activity by attracting both domestic and foreign investments. The LAA was among the 197 organisations and individuals in the world honored with these prestigious annual SAG awards.

The awards are intended to demonstrate an appreciation for organisations using GIS to understand complex data and meet challenges around the world. The users honored with awards are demonstrating all the ground breaking possibilities of GIS software in various other fields such as in academia, health sector, utilities, agriculture and mining. But the LAA scooped the best award in the field of land records and cadaster.

“We would like to thank the World Bank through Private Sector Competitiveness and Economic Diversity Programme (PSCEDP) for their important support in this project. We are humbled by their confidence in us and as the authority, we further commit to do our utmost best to ensure our partnership grow more in our quest to serve Basotho timeously and transparently,

Indeed, the support came at the right time when the Covid-19 pandemic drastically forced organisations to adopt new technologies in order to minimise physical contact. As the LAA, we pride ourselves as being customer-centric. This is in line with our core strategic objectives of putting customers first in whatever we do,” she added. Through the system, services such as online submission of survey jobs, online services for conveyancers, payment gateway to facilitate online payments and online services for individual customers will be accessed remotely by both stakeholders and customers.

 

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