Historical Land Recording Program for Guadalcanal Underway

Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey Hon. William Marau acknowledged Kaukau tribal leaders and highlighted the occasion’s historical significance of land recording in Solomon Islands.

KAKAU tribe of Northwest Guadalcanal has made a breakthrough by opening up their customary land for the boundary walk and mapping program.

These program is one of the newly elected Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) flagship projects under the Traditional Governance Bill and Land law Reform.

It will ensure that the Chiefs are empowered and recognized in their roles.

The opening of the boundary walk of Luana Customary Land of Kakau tribe in the Sahalu Ward took place 3rd May at Mamarei Beach, Visale.

Speaking during the ceremony Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey Hon. William Marau acknowledged Kaukau tribal leaders and highlighted the occasion’s historical significance of land recording in Solomon Islands.

“Kakau tribe is the first in Guadalcanal Province to accept customary land recording process and to involve Kakau Chiefs in the process.

“I sincerely thank you for your understanding, co-operation and participation in this very important program.

“The tribe has come a long way since 2017 and I urge you not to stop but to keep on progressing until Luana Customary Land is mapped and your records are safe and secured,” Hon. Marau said.

He reiterates that land related problems have been a big impediment for effective utilisation of vital resources on the land.

“Land is critical to economic, social and cultural development of our nation and plays a key role in promotion of the Government effort in eradication of poverty and empowerment towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”

“Our country’s rapid population growth has given rise to high demand for land, especially in the urban and peri-urban areas. Sea level rise resulting from climate change has also placed demand for land for the re-settlement of coastal and atoll island dwellers,” he said

He continued:“We all know that registration of customary land is not an easy task to do.

“Under the current system that we have land is registered to the name of five trustees who in most cases do not act in the best interests and wishes of the tribe which leads to dispute and a disbanding of tribes and many other issues,” Hon. Marau highlighted.

He is determined that with this background, the government waits for tribes to be born.

“To be born into the business sector and to participate in the economic development of its people and nation.

“One way for the tribes to be born into economic development is to get their customary lands to be recorded just as what we are doing right here in Sahalu.

“This will convert your tribal lands into a commodity that you can deal with and use for the development and benefit of your tribes.

“Through this program, individual members of the tribe may be elevated to a level where they can directly participate in the economic development of themselves and their country,” Hon. Marau said.

The Lands Minister assured the tribal leaders and rural people that the government through his ministry will continue working with resource owners, our development partners, stakeholder Ministries and NGO’s to provide legal framework and legislation that will touch lives of rural people like Sahalu Ward and the nation as a whole.

He appealed to the four gathering tribes; Haubata, Lakuili, Kidipale and Simo to leave behind any sense of distrust that they may have towards this government program.

The Land Recording Program is not here to alienate your lands but to assist and facilitate security of your land rights.

“Let us work together as a people, as a Ministry and as nation in securing your tribal lands and getting you ready to participate in meaningful development,” Hon. Marau said.

Lands Permanent Secretary Stanley Waleanisia also acknowledged tribal elders men, women, youth and children who gathered to witness the ceremony and thank them for the Chupu given to the Hon. Minister and team which shows their acceptance of us and willingness to be partners in Customary Land recording process.