Tanzania: Shortage of Land Surveyors Fuel Squatting - Experts

Dar es Salaam — Land planners have cautioned that the government's ambitious plan to survey every single plot in the country could end up a white elephant without deliberate actions to train and employ more land surveyors.

They warned of continued land disputes and loss of huge government revenues caused by shortage of land experts.

They were reacting to figures released this week by the ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development that showed Tanzania has a shortage of 1, 411 land surveyors.

Deputy minister for lands, Ms Angelina Mabula told the august House during question-and-answers session on Monday that the shortage of land surveyors stood at 47.7. She said while the actual demand was 2,957, only 1, 546 have been employed.

Vice President of the Tanzania Association of Planners (TAP), Renny Chiwa, said squatting will continue degrade the status of major cities like Mbeya, Dar es Salaam, Arusha, Mwanza and Tanga and others."The economic implication of having a large portion of land un-surveyed is that the government would lose its due land rents to the owners of informal settlements," noted Mr Chiwa who also doubles as chairman of Human Settlement Action

He said the shortage of servants in land department at district level means land conflicts would never end despite huge efforts put by the government to solve them."We have only about 90 surveying firms and not more than 50 town planning companies which, after all, does not have have enough servants to service the whole country," said when asked whether the shortage of land surveyors was an opportunity for private firms.

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TAP secretary Clemence Mero warned that the sub- sector's efficiency would be adversely impacted when it came to land surveying.

Mr Mero who doubles as the director of Independent Planners Ltd said the government was supposed to practically cling together with private sector in surveying the land if it wished to realise its plan.

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