Landless Families on Hunger Strike, Abandoned Land Grab, and a Slum Museum
Today’s round up of land stories starts in Cambodia, where the Director General of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port is denying allegations of a 148 hectare land grab for the purpose of building a Special Economic Zone. In Sri Lanka, Tamil villagers claim a Buddhist monk, backed by Sinhalese paramilitaries, is leading encroachment on Tamil land by Sinhalese people. In India, where landless protests in Arippa have intensified against the government, 1200 landless families will go on a hunger strike, claiming the government reneged on a promise to grant ownership rights to the families. Elsewhere in India, the world’s first slum museum will challenge perceptions of informal settlements. Sticking with the topic of informal settlements, in South Africa, architect Mokena Makeka issued a warning about the fast-growing number of homeless people, who are putting massive pressure on cities globally. Speaking at an annual architects awards event, Makeka said affordable and inclusive new “adaptive” cities with smart grids and full access were needed in South Africa. In Tanzania, the government plans to identify all idle or undeveloped land parcels exceeding 50 acres and revoke the titles, in an effort to add value to land and attract more foreign and domestic land investors. In West Africa, a Ghanian community remains on the verge of violence over a cemetery-land dispute that has already caused clashes between Muslim youth and traditional authorities.
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