Cooperatives & Communities

Adjumani: 2,500 residents to receive free certificates of land ownership

ADJUMANI, April 15, 2024 -At least 2,500 residents in Adjumani district are set to receive free customary certificates of land ownership in the second phase of the customary land registration after more than 4,000 were issued in the first phase.

The first phase of the customary land registration was implemented in the district by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development [MOLHUD], facilitated by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme [UN-HABITAT] and Global Land Tool Network [GLTN], with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Netherlands Enterprise and Development Agency [RVO], targeting the sub-counties of Ciforo, and Pakele [now town council].

According to Ronald Ocen Keddy, the Field Supervisor of the project in Adjumani district, Makerere University in partnership with the UN-Habitat, and [MLHUD] will be implementing the project dubbed Scaling up Community-based Land Registration and Land Use Planning on Customary Land in Adjumani.

The project is building on the experiences and lessons from phase one of the project, the project aims to contribute to developing a structured and scalable approach towards improved tenure security and sustainable land use for men, women, and youth on customary land in a participatory way in Adjumani,” Ocen said.

He added that the project will be implemented in the sub-counties of Pakele, and Ukusijoni where 2,500 certificates will be issued to beneficiaries.

He also revealed that 4,053 customary certificates of ownership were issued in the first phase after receiving more than 17,000 applications.

On his part, Dr. Brian Makabayi from Makerere University Department of Geomatics and Land Management called for the mobilisation of the people in Adjumani district to take advantage of the project.

“The two sub-counties [Pakele, and Ukusijoni] are the food baskets to the district, if people have disputes on land it will lead to food insecurity, but by obtaining the customary certificate of ownership, the farmers will be able to produce food and there will be food security,” Makabayan said.

The Adjumani district LCV Chairperson, Ben Anyama said the intervention by MLHUD and UN-Habitat is timely and will help address the rampant land disputes in the district.

In the same vein, Drani Stephen, the Acting Paramount Chief of Madi who lobbied for the project said with customary land tenure, there remains a huge task in the securing land rights in Uganda.

“With the women’s population being higher than that of men in the country, and the women doing more work on the land than men, then it becomes imperative for us to secure women’s land rights for now and for the future,” Drani noted.

He added: “In all this regard, we have to take into consideration the youth demographics which is that at least 75 percent of Africans are young and looking for work. This brings us to the question of how do we open up our natural resources for the youth and women?”.

Meanwhile, Abdunassar Olekwa, the Acting Commissioner of Land Administration in MLHUD affirmed that awareness is meant to address the landownership challenges.

“We expect that within the week, the people in Madi Sub-region, especially women can benefit from this campaign, we expect the majority will understand the process of registering their land,” said Olekwa.

He further said, “We are also intentional in protecting the rights to the land of a specific group  in Uganda, that is the women. Women are key, 70 percent of the land is used by women, but only 15 percent own the land.”

On the other hand, the wider Scaling up Community-based Land Registration and Land Use Planning on Customary Land in Uganda is being implemented in selected districts in Mt. Elgon region, Kyoga plains, and Southwestern Uganda, all being considered as important agro-production zones.

The project is expected to deliver improved tenure security for men, women and youth, sustainable, climate-smart and inclusive land use planning, and improved capacity and awareness of key land stakeholders on customary land registration and land use planning.

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