In a recent statement, Central Equatoria State governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony attributed the high rate of land-grabbing in Juba to overpopulation in the capital city. The governor made these remarks while addressing members of the state parliament, youth, and chiefs during his inspection of the construction of the Juba County headquarters in Kapuri.
According to Governor Adil, the problem of land-grabbing has two sides, and it is crucial to address the root causes of the issue to find a permanent solution. The population explosion in Juba is one of the primary factors that have led to the rampant land-grabbing in the city. He noted that South Sudanese citizens, especially those from Central Equatoria State, want to settle in Juba, leading to rural-urban migration and overcrowding.
The population explosion in Juba has resulted in the bloating of land prices, making it attractive for land grabbers. Traders are taking advantage of the high demand for land in the city to make quick money. This has led to the illegal acquisition of land by individuals and groups, further exacerbating the problem.
Governor Adil’s claims highlight a significant problem facing Juba and other urban centers in South Sudan. As the country’s population grows, more people will move to cities in search of better opportunities, leading to an increase in urbanization and demand for land. If this issue is not addressed urgently, it will lead to the degradation of the environment, social unrest, and the displacement of vulnerable populations.
To address the problem of land-grabbing in Juba, Governor Adil directed local government officials linked to land matters to show people who have already purchased land their properties to prevent further grabbing. He also encouraged landowners to put up structures on their land to indicate ownership. These measures, though, are temporary solutions to a long-standing problem that requires more significant interventions.
The South Sudanese government must take urgent and comprehensive measures to address the root causes of land-grabbing in Juba and other urban centers. One of the critical interventions that the government can undertake is to develop a comprehensive land-use plan that outlines how land will be used in urban areas. This plan should be inclusive and involve all stakeholders, including government agencies, local communities, and civil society organizations.
The government should also strengthen its land governance systems to ensure that land transactions are transparent, fair, and legal. This includes the establishment of efficient and effective land registration systems that allow for the accurate recording of land transactions. It also includes the enforcement of laws and regulations that govern land ownership and use.
In addition to these interventions, the government should invest in infrastructure development to reduce the demand for land in urban areas. This includes expanding access to electricity, water, and sanitation, and improving transportation systems. By investing in infrastructure development, the government can attract investments and create job opportunities in rural areas, reducing the need for rural-urban migration.
Another critical intervention that the government can undertake is to promote sustainable land use practices, such as conservation and reforestation. These practices can help to reduce the demand for new land and prevent the degradation of natural resources. The government can work with communities to implement these practices through the establishment of community-based conservation and forestry management systems.
The problem of land-grabbing in Juba is a complex issue that requires a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach to address. Governor Adil’s claims highlight the urgent need for the South Sudanese government to take action to address the root causes of the problem. By developing a comprehensive land-use plan, strengthening land governance systems, investing in infrastructure development, and promoting sustainable land-use practices, the government can help to reduce the demand for land in urban areas and protect the rights of vulnerable populations. Ultimately, addressing the problem of land-grabbing in Juba requires a collaborative effort from