Awareness campaign for villagers in Ulanga District gears up

03Aug 2017
James Kandoya
The Guardian
Awareness campaign for villagers in Ulanga District gears up

MOROGORO is one of the regions in the country reported to have a number of land disputes caused by village land boundaries, villager-to-villager, or farmers-against-herders conflicts.

Land officer conducting awareness campaign for Mwaya villagers in Ulanga District.

 

All of these factors had adverse impacts on people’s lives as individuals and communities since they led to killings, injuries and loss of properties.

It was for these reasons that the Land Use Commission under the Ministry for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development implemented the Land Tenure Supporting Programme (LTSP) to increase awareness in all matters related to land ownership as well as to eliminate land disputes.

Being implemented as pilot projects in three districts - Malinyi, Ulanga and Kilombero - the programme has registered a number of successes including ending land disputes.

Hamisa Itambiro a villager at Mzelezi in Ulanga District, Morogoro Region reveals that her family rejected to authorize her plot of land from the clan farms and decided segregate.

Itambiro, a mother of seven children says as a bread winner she faced many difficulties to get the daily bread for her children.

She proudly says after LTSP came in their village, all their clan land was surveyed and plots distributed to all adding that she owns 1.5 acres surveyed plots.

“The project has to great extent eliminated oppression imposed to most women in most parts of the country including her and others in the villages,” she said.

Citing her village, she  explains that most women are still oppressed and not considered in the ownership or decision-making in all matters related  to land saying awareness was still be needed to end the oppression to women and disabled groups.

Isongo Village Chairman, Andrew Likwachala says   his home village and the neighbouring village-Lyando in Ulanga had been in village boundaries disputes   for numbers of years.

He reveals that   although the conflict was fuelled mostly by some investors, yet Isongo and lyando village’s boundaries were not known.

The chairman details that when the project was introduced two sides in conflicts were firstly advised to end their difference so as benefit from the project.

He however witnessed that, after LTSP surveyed their village land boundaries and place beacons there were no more disputes emerged.

“Indeed, I would like to commend efforts made so far by LTPS to ensure land disputes were solved. Once came in, village boundaries survey (VBS) exercise was conducted and placed beacons after a certain distance,” he said.

“We also commend the government through the ministry for land, Housing and Human development to implement the project, where the two villages-lyando and Isongo are now free from land disputes,” he adds.

Adding to that, Uponera village chairman   Salvatory Matari admits that his village was one of the village highly affected by the village boundary dispute.

He details that the village boundary dispute between Uponera and Lyando existed almost more than twenty years without solution as a result most people failed to participate fully in the production fearing to lose their lives.

 “We have no more land boundaries dispute between our bordering villages unlike it was in previous days,” he said.

LTPS -Communication Specialist, Hanna Mwandoloma discloses that a total of 25,000 Certificate of Customary Right of Occupancy (CCRO) will be issued to villagers soon next month.

Mwandoloma reveals that in one year of its implementation, LTSP has registered number of success including solution to land disputes, increased awareness on the rights of land occupancy especially to the women.

Furthermore, LTSP in collaboration with districts municipal councils conducted village boundaries surveyed (VBS) to eliminate village boundaries disputes, surveying of the village land plots and issue of CCRO.

 “It is my hope that by next month, LTPS will have issued 25,000 CCRO,” she explains. 

Over thirty three village land disputes existed over twenty in Kilombero district had completely been solved; this is according to the District Commissioner James Ihunyo.

Ihunjo says the disputes were solved in collaboration between his office and the LTSP.He mentions one of the reasons which contributed to disputes as  establishment of villages without proper procedures hence caused to number of village boundaries disputes in his domain.

Apart from that, most of the village land had not been surveyed and the villagers were not aware on their village boundaries and sometimes village to village boundaries.He elaborates that all of these contributed to the village boundaries disputes that drawback the economic activities.

According to DC, the program has helped to reduce the disputes by educating villagers their rights to own land and identify their land boundaries.

“My office in collaboration with LTSP goals are to ensure that all village lands are surveyed and later villagers issued with Customary Certificate Right of Occupancy (CCRO),”he explains. “On so doing, we have jointly solved all available land disputes in the district that existed for number of years,” he adds. 

The district boss further details that already 29 village lands had been surveyed and a total of 1146 farms recognised so far adding that the exercise was still going on to identify more farms.Along with all cattle in his domain were identified and marked with a special colour to differentiate from groups of herders coming in the district without permission.He said the move aimed to prevent emerging disputes between the herders and farmers as well as to control group of herders coming in the district without permission. 

According to the DC, all cattle had been marked to identify them from illegal pastoralists coming in the district adding that ones who have no colour will be seized.

Echoing similar sentiment, Ulanga district office Authorised land officer Valence Huruma revealed that soon after (LTSP) came in, his office has resolved nineteen land disputes that so far highly affected people in different villages. 

Huruma explains that all these achievements are realised in the one year of implementing the programme as pilot in three districts where Ulanga is one of the beneficiaries.

According to land officer, all village lands has been surveyed and placed beacons noting that there are no more disputes noted so far since the exercise started.

He admits that un-proper system of establishing villages likely to contribute to most of village land disputes naming some villages succeeded so far to resolve it as Uponera, Isongo, Lyandu and Lukando.

 “Indeed, the project  has done a lot to eliminate the disputes through  base line survey, surveying of plots and issuance of CCRO to the village and villagers  to ensure no more land disputes,” he says. “It is a great effort that needs to be recognised, sustained and transferred to other affected areas in the country,” the officer adds.

Furthermore, he describes that through LTSP, villager’s awareness has increased on their rights to own land hence bridged the gaps between the women and men in occupying the land.

The authorised land officer clarified that the national land policy of 1995 and the Village land Act no 5 of 1999 states that everyone has a right to own land.He said despite contribution made by the LTSP, there was shortage of surveyors adding that his office had deployed eight Para surveyors to fasten the exercise.Up to date, there are 6145 farms surveyed in Kilombero and 1943 in Ulanga districts making possible to solve 30 percent of village land   disputes, this is according to the  Field manager Beatrice Gowele.

In Kilombero alone,  five village farms had been surveyed so far which were Mikoleko (2000), Nyange (2186), Kiberege (716),  Mhelule (1153) and Kanoro (90) all making a total of 6145 farms.In Ulanga District, two villages namely - Kichangani with 1250 farms and Mzelezi 693 farms were surveyed making a total of 1943 farms

“It is our hope that by the end of this month, a total of 25,000 Customary Certificates of Right of Occupancy (CCRO) will be issued to the villagers,” she said.