Barriers to Formalizing Property
Processes for land transaction are not necessarily widely understood, even in stable and developed countries. With a literacy rate of only 57%, and over half of the citizens living in rural areas which can be difficult to access, there is a tremendous lack of public education on land rights in Liberia. CNDRA, with assistance from the Land Policy and Institutional Support (LPIS) project and The World Bank, is currently undertaking an education campaign in order to better inform the public on how to engage the CNDRA and what to expect when doing so. The campaign includes radio dramas, newspaper advertisements, community workshops, and dissemination of printed materials.
There are numerous obstacles citizens must overcome in order to register their property, even if they are aware of the correct steps to take. The most pressing issue is the relatively high cost of initiating the registration process. It includes official fees, plus the cost incurred by traveling to-and-from the government offices which is often a significant distance for the citizen. Compounding this is the relative complexity and the need for citizens to contract private sector professionals, such as lawyers and surveyors to complete the process. Lastly, confusion relating to the differences be tween the customary and statutory systems serves as a disincentive for individuals to begin the process.