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From Protectors to Perpetrators: Land Guard Issues in Ghana

June 14, 2023

The pressing housing challenge of rent in most parts of the country has led to many Ghanaians pursuing land ownership and home construction. Owning a house not only provides peace of mind but also serves as a valuable investment.

However, landowners often encounter obstacles in developing their acquired land, as multiple individuals assert ownership claims. Even when landowners have legal access, the presence of land guards complicates construction.

In Ghana, land guard activities have emerged as a troubling issue, causing conflict and insecurity within communities. Exploiting weaknesses within the land system, these individuals illegally occupy or seize land, depriving rightful owners.

Recognizing the significance of this problem to peace and prosperity, it is essential to explore effective security solutions to counter land guard activities and restore stability in affected areas.

Understanding the Land Guard Phenomenon

The rise of land guard activities in Ghana is attributed to factors like weak land administration systems, inadequate dispute resolution methods, and poverty-driven desperation.

These circumstances enable unethical individuals to exploit vulnerable citizens, instilling fear and insecurity in communities. These individuals employ violence, using weapons such as guns and machetes.

In areas like Ablekuma, Amamorley, Awutu Senya, and Gomoa, individuals who worked hard to acquire land have been forced to abandon their properties due to threats from land guards.

Impact of Land Guard Activities on Society

Land guard activities have severe repercussions for communities and individuals involved. These include escalating violence, property destruction, livelihood loss, and erosion of trust in law enforcement and the justice system. These issues hinder economic growth, discourage investments, and negatively impact social cohesion.

Enhanced Security Measures to Safeguard Communities

To address this social issue, certain approaches are suggested.

  • Firstly, strengthen legal frameworks. Amend existing land laws if necessary to address gaps enabling land guard activities. Ensure efficient land acquisition registration systems and empower the judiciary to resolve land disputes promptly.
  • Secondly, promote public awareness and education campaigns. Raise awareness about land rights, dispute resolution, and the risks of engaging in land guard activities. Empower citizens to recognize and report such activities.
  • Thirdly, intensify law enforcement. Increase police presence and establish specialized units dedicated to addressing land guard issues. Provide training in conflict resolution and mediation to effectively handle related cases.
  • Fourth, establish community-based vigilante groups. Encourage watchdog committees to monitor and prevent land guard activities. Collaborate with law enforcement and equip them with legal knowledge.
  • Fifth, strengthen dispute resolution mechanisms. Expand alternative methods to ensure swift and fair resolutions. Establish mediation centers and community-based arbitration panels.

In conclusion, addressing land guard issues requires a multifaceted approach. Stakeholders, including chiefs, land regulatory bodies, and security agencies, must collaborate to enforce existing laws and regulations. Implementing these measures will restore peace, security, and economic development in communities impacted by land guard activities, fostering growth for all Ghanaians.

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