The Land Law Project aims at securing Land Tenure for the Urban Poor in Kabale Municipality South Western Uganda. The urban poor in Kabale Municipality often do not own the land they occupy or have titles and certificates that are needed for secure Tenure. As the urban population is growing fast and the undeveloped land available for use is decreasing, the need for secure tenure is increasingly being recognized. Secure Tenure can trigger the provision of resilient services to urban communities by government, private entities and civic organizations. The urban poor are more willing to invest in legalizing their water and power connections when tenure is more secure. Secure tenure and equal property rights are critical issues for women and these largely depend on their ability to own economic assets such as land and housing.
Recent surveys indicate that although most people in the Municipality are aware of the existence of the Land Act,there is relatively little awareness of its provisions and land sector institutions and procedures. Knowledge of the practical mechanisms necessary to uphold people’s land rights is generally limited and confused. Due to population pressure on land, land and property disputes are on the increase. Related experiences from many cities in other parts of the world, for example, has shown that formalizing the tenure of informal settlements triggered the provision of resilient services to these communities, not only by government, but also by private entities such as utility companies and civic organizations. We continue to see cases where Women have been excluded from the purchase of property, inheritance and decisions about land and property resources. The Land Law Project aims at addressing these challenges by empowering the urban poor residents to have secure tenure for their land.
The land law project aims at enhancing the understanding of the Land Law and fostering Partnerships for facilitating easy Land Registration to Secure Tenure for the urban poor. KMDF is conducting land law trainings, awareness campaigns, translating relevant land laws and will develop a simplified guide to land and property rights in the local language. KMDF is supporting the urban poor to register their land in order to get land Titles and Certificates of Customary Ownership.
Why the land law project?
Land Registration in Uganda is the only way to secure land tenure. However, the process of land registration has a lot of challenges including corruption at various levels. Stakeholders involved in Land Registration process rely on the ignorance of the land law, regulations and procedures by the people to exploit them. As a result people with interest in registering their land have always given up before the process is complete. Currently, the Land Registration procedure is challenging for a common person to afford, full of delays and involves corruption and extortion. For example any one with interest of registering land must go to the sub-county to get a form. This form must be filled and returned to the Sub-County after which the land Committee will have to seat in a meeting to process the application. Because land Committees are not facilitated, they take long to seat and therefore delays in processing applications. The land committee at the sub-county is supposed to report to the District land Board and after receiving the report, the District land Board must also seat to approve the application.
Currently the District Land Board takes several months without meeting. This further delays the process of registering land. After the District land board has approved the application, the applicant must travel 480kms to follow up with the Office of land titles at the Ministry of lands in Kampala or visiting regional offices. With this project, this process will be shortened because the registration desks are doing working of shorting the application process to avoid associated challenges including delays and corruption. KMDF is working with different stakeholders in the land registration process to ensure that the urban poor are assisted not exploited further. Through the land law project, KMDF is working to address problems associated with land registrtaion by making the process of registering land easy for everyone. KMDF is assisting Residents of Kabale Municipality to register their land to get Land and Lease tiles and Certificates of Customary Ownership at an affordable fee. Thanks to our approach of Community Philanthropy through the Community in Kabale Municipality is raising resources locally in support of this vital project
Land Law Project Activities
KMDF is implementing the following Project Activities under the Land Law Project
- Community Engagement and Identification of Community Educators
KMDF is broadcasting a media Campaign through Radio programs and spot messages encouraging people in Kabale Municipality to apply and participate in land law trainings. Radio talk shows also involves education sessions on land law and its practice in Uganda. KMDF is airing a weekly Radio Programme to encourage people to participate in the project and educating the urban poor to understand land law and how to secure land tenure. The weekly Radio Programme is being supplemented by Daily Radio spot messages (6 messages per day) with the same messages of encouraging people to apply in order to participate in the land law training programme. For a period of five years during which we are implanting this project, we hope to broadcast a total of 240 radio talk shows and produce 10,080 spot messages. During the Radio Talk shows, land law and technical experts will be hosts to share their knowledge on land law and its relationship to security of Tenure in Uganda. The Radio talk-shows and spot messages will create awareness on the importance of secure tenure and how it creates economic opportunities for the urban poor through financing and investments
- Organizing the Land Law training programme.
KMDF is training Community Educators that will continue supporting the urban poor to secure land tenure. The Trainings tackles topics like the system of land tenure in Uganda, including its historical background and the legal and constitutional reforms introduced by the previous and present Governments of Uganda. Other topics include Introduction to Law, Land law in Uganda, Land and Property Rights as per the Ugandan Constitution of 1995 and the land act 1998, General principles of land law (Registration of tiles, the principle of possession, principles governing Lease and mortgage etc), Land rights and customary law, Family and Succession Law, Land, housing and property rights under international law and their relevance to Property Rights in Uganda, Land acquisition and Registration in Uganda with a major focus on land Registration Procedures, Lending Law and its relationship to property Rights in Uganda. All the Trained Community Educators will be required to join the Secure Tenure Network that will be formed under this project
- Formation of Secure Tenure Network
KMDF is creating a Secure Tenure Network that will work to improve tenure security, property and land rights in Kabale Municipality. Membership to the Network is open to individuals, institutions, Local Governments, Organizations, Community groups, Business Associations, Companies, Corporate entities among others with interest in upholding land and property rights in Uganda.
- Formation of Secure Tenure Committees and building their capacities
KMDF is collaborating with other partners including Civil Society organization in Kabale Municipality form secure tenure Committees at various levels and building their capacities to support the urban poor in secure land land and upholding the protection of land and property rights. All the members of the secure tenure Committees are members of Secure Tenure Network has been formed under this project.
- Establishment of Registration Desks.
In each Division of the Municipality, KMDF has Registration Desks that are assisting members of the Community in putting together Documents needed for Land Registration including filling land registration forms. The Registration Desks work closely with KMDF team at the Secretariat, Secure Tenure Committees, Land Committees and other land administration offices in Uganda.
- Partners and Stakeholders meetings.
Under this project and in order to facilitate new partnerships, new networks and create an enabling environment for Tenure Security for the Urban poor, KMDF organizes partners and stakeholders meetings. Participants of these meetings include KMDF Representatives, Representatives from Implementing partners, Members of the Land and secure tenure Committees, representatives and Members of the District Land Board, representatives from the local governments and Municipal Council, Office of Registrar of Titles and representatives from Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, representatives of the Private Sector, government officials, community leaders, humanitarian aid workers, judges, Magistrates, lawyers and others whose responsibilities include upholding land and property rights in Uganda. All the meetings aims at creating an enabling environment for easy and affordable land registration for improving Tenure Securing for the Urban Poor. We use these meeting to encourage Participants join the Secure Tenure Network that has been formed under this project.
- Development of simplified guide to Land and Property Rights in both the Local Language and English.
KMDF will develop a simplified guide to land and Property Rights and distribute it widely to members of the general public to increase awareness on the land and property rights as provided under the land Law in Uganda and international Mechanisms