Landowners blame negligence for squatter boom

National, Normal

RURAL migrants are creating settlements by squatting on vacant customary land on the peripheries of urban centres.
“Customary landowners of land located on the fringes of urban areas should form intergrated land groups (ILGs) to register their land and develop them for long-term monetary benefits,” Asaroyuha Landowners Association (ALA) chairman Nemanea Omahe said.
He said the negligence of customary landowners to care for their land had resulted in the growth of squatters in urban centres.
Mr Omahe is from one of the biggest tribes that own land in Goroka town and has taken the lead to mobilise his tribesmen to register their land.
“It is about time for us to organise ourselves to protect the interest of landowners which should enable them to benefit largely on expansion programmes of towns and other developments,” he said.