There was no single woman represented on the Regional Board of the Lands Commission for the Upper East Region and this has raised concerns from gender advocates.

This came less than a week after the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme, had made strong case for equality for women and the urgent need to mainstream gender issues in all facets of life.

This was at regional celebration of International Women?s Day (IWD) organized by the Regional Directorate of the Department of Gender, Children and Social Protection in Bolgatanga recently.

The outgoing Upper East Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru who supervised the appointment of the Board members, was quick to apologise and explained that the absence of a woman on the Board was an oversight and that the anomaly would be corrected.

But the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council went ahead on Wednesday and inaugurated the 19-member Board without a woman.

Mr Yaw Effah-Baah, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, called on the Board to ensure that all land occupied by state agencies were properly acquired and documented to avoid confrontations.

He expressed regret that that governments had over the years battled litigations on land occupied by state agencies most of which had not been properly acquired and documented.

Mr Effah-Baah appealed to the Board to ensure that all government land were properly acquired and documented and to develop proper land use plans.

?There is the need for you to address the problems of land fragmentation which is so common in the Region,? he said.

Mr Effah-Baah said with the new land policies, the Land Administration Project II would seek to remove bottlenecks associated with processing of land documentation to reduce land litigation in the country.

He called on the members to educate the public on the importance of registering their land at the Registry Department of the Lands Commission which had been opened in all the regions and that people who did so could benefit more from foreign investors.

Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru appealed to the members to tackle the numerous land issues in the Region because land issues were one of the main factors that triggered conflicts in some parts of the Region.

He said law suits had been filed against state agencies in the region because land acquired by the state were without proper documentation and acquisition and stressed the need for the Board to ensure that all the district assemblies did the right thing by properly acquiring land and develop land boundaries.

Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru appealed to the Commission members to sensitize communities on the need to give out land to government for development projects and expressed regret that some projects which were meant for certain communities were diverted to other places as a result of the refusal of communities to give out land.

He appealed to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to post more staff to the Lands Commission in the Region and constantly provide capacity building training for them to empower them to meet challenges.

The Chairman of the 19-member Board, Mr Alfred Afulani Ajene, assured the Ministry that the Commission would live up to the challenges and would not fail the state, stressing ?we will be fair and firm in the dispensation of our duties? GNA

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