Public institutions and individuals have been advised to register and secure their lands with the proper documentation to avert any encroachment, which could lead to future litigations and possible loss of the land.
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, gave the advice when she received an executive summary report on the encroachment of the Sunyani Ridge Cluster of Schools land, following a petition received from the Parent-Teacher Association, the Management, staff and old students last year.
The five-member Committee that investigated the issue presented the report to the Minister at a meeting in Sunyani.
She commended the Committee for the good job done in the supreme interest of the public and to promote peace and socio-economic development in the Sunyani Municipality.
Madam Owusu-Banahene promised that the report would not be abandoned in her office but would be perused to ensure the matter was resolved and brought to its logical conclusion.
The Management, PTA, Old Student Association and the pupils/students of the Ridge Cluster of Schools went on a peaceful demonstration in March 2022 to present a petition to the Regional Minister to intervene in the alleged encroachment and sale of the schools’ lands to private developers.
A five-member committee was, thus, constituted to look into the matter, with Mr Alexander Bae-Yeboah, an Assistant Director at the Bono Regional Coordinating Council, as Secretary.
The Committee was to establish the true land title/ownership of the land in dispute and determine whether there had been re-zoning and release of portions of it to private developers by the Regional Lands Commission Secretariat.
If so, the Committee was to determine whether that was appropriate and necessary in relation to the land use and spatial planning of the Sunyani Municipality, Mr Bae-Yeboah, who presented the report, said.
It was also to establish the extent to which the re-zoning had affected the schools’ lands and determine whether the change of use for commercial activities or any other uses would have negative impacts on the academic progress and future development of the schools.
He said the committee also considered other relevant information that would help avoid future occurrences and made the appropriate recommendations to forestall an emergence of such disputes on public lands.
It recommended that discussions must be held with identified property owners around the school to determine whether they could release these lands to the school for future expansion.
Those property owners would then be compensated with plots of lands elsewhere within the municipality on agreement.