Liberia – Identification and compensation of PAP

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Liberia – PAP identification and compensation

‘A community that is engaged and working together can be a powerful force.’

When I first started working in Liberia my main task was to help with the planning of the transmission lines from the hydro plant to the two substations in Monrovia. Both lines had existed before with the original plant so there was information on the original transmission lines but the new lines needed to also take into consideration new laws and regulations, plans by the government in regards to road extensions or other urban and rural developments, existing infrastructure like water pipelines, or current as well as planned technology like satellites and antennas. It required for me to work closely with the authorities and local communities as most of the information was not readily available or even lost during the war. When the corridor was then established by the planners my focus went into identifying the land owners who were affected (PAP) by the lines either in towers being constructed on their land or by trees being cut down that were within the corridor. That was the most challenging task as there was no existing official land registry that was reliable in information on land deeds and ownership. During the war a lot of that information was lost, people had moved, been replaced or fled during the war, many of them returning afterwards and finding their properties to have been sold illegally or built on. So it is a general challenge that Liberia is facing to resolve in the aftermath of the war. For the project it meant that our team was literally walking each route of the transmission line talking to people living within that corridor and the communities identifying property lines and establishing records of land ownership. We then also counted all the trees within the corridors that were going to get cut and from that prepared a compensation report with each landowner and the amount of compensation they would receive if a tower was going to be placed in their property and based on the number of trees that were going to get cut.
Each of the identified owners were then met again to explain and sign the agreements before finally payments were made.

I trained our local team to read the maps and navigate in the field. And together with my German colleague we also focused on capacity building for the team focusing on their communication, monitoring and reporting skills.