Morogoro authority plans to eliminate land conflicts

02Aug 2016
James Kandoya
The Guardian
Morogoro authority plans to eliminate land conflicts

Tanzania is now opting to implement land use tenure supporting programme (LTSP) to end land disputes between herdsmen and farmers in different parts of the country.

Dr Kebwe Steven Kebwe

The programme was established by G-8 countries to exercise transparency in land use issues to end up conflicts that have resulted into deaths, injuries and loss of properties when happened.

Having been established on the 16th February this year under the sponsorship of the United Kingdom (UK), Denmark and Sweden, the programme is being implemented in three districts namely-Ifakara, Ulanga and Malinyi all of Morogoro Region. The Tanzanian land use planning commission coordinates the programme.

Swagile Msonanga, a team leader- in the land tenure regularisation, LTSP said that the project would first deal with land use at district level and later on move down to the village level.

However, currently Kilosa and Mvomero districts also of Morogoro Region have been cited as the ring leaders in land disputes between farmers and herders out of all districts across the country, causing deaths, injuries and loss of properties.

According to the latest study that was conducted by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, land disputes between herdsmen were occurring because there was no proper plan for land use between the two conflicting sides.

According to the team leader, the project had also focused to review policies and laws related to ownership of land in villages.

“The main focus of the programme is to increase transparency in land use issue to reduce land conflicts occurring in different places and to improve revenue collection from surveyed plots,” he said.

The team leaders further disclosed that to implement it, all village land will be surveyed and upon completion all villagers will be issued with certificates right of customary occupancy.

He said with issuance of land of customary right of occupancy certificates, villagers are enabled to use collateral offered to them to seek for loan from financial institutions.

According to team leaders, the programme will also review land policy and land laws including review the ownership of all big farms within villages.

Furthermore, he said after land use planning at district level is over the next step will be to all villages including awareness of land laws to the villagers. It will be introduced in other districts country-wide when it has registered remarkable success in the pilot districts.

For his part, ULANGA Towns and Villages planning officer, Samora Makoi said apart from that, the LTSP will help to expand the scope of investments in agriculture, tourism and other related sectors in the region.

Makoi made the remarks recently in the stakeholder meeting to discuss the district land use frame work (2016-2036) that involved officials from the government and politicians and other land stakeholders held recently in Ulanga District, Morogoro Region.

He said the programme had identified opportunities and challenges on how to use and protect land resources, adding that it had already prepared an action plan to solve all challenges facing some societies.

“Since the implementation of the programme involves different sectors it will be used as a tool to supervise the use of land as well as protecting land reserve set aside specifically for agriculture, wild animals and forests,” he said.

It was anticipated that LTSP would be a cure to all existing land disputes in the district which have caused deaths, injuries and loss of properties for farmers and herdsmen.

In his presentation, Makoi described that Ulanga district was facing a number of challenges including lack of enough personnel, equipments and shortage of fund to conduct land survey, the situation slacken development.

According to the officer, LTSP will to great extent facilitate the issuance of customary certificates of right of occupancy to the villagers once their land had been surveyed, something that will make them be in the position of seeking loans from financial institutions.

The Morogoro Regional Commissioner Dr Kebwe Steven Kebwe urged the councils to use satellite imaging to speed up land surveying exercise. Kebwe said this when opening the stakeholders meeting to discuss the district land use frame work (2016-2036) in Ifakara District.

Dr Kebwe told the participants to the meeting that it was the right time to adopt and utilise the modern technology so as to speed up land survey. “When the exercise is completed, it will reduce land disputes in both districts,” he noted.

A one-day workshop on ‘Land use and Planning attracted ward councilors, directors and other officials within the councils and the general consensus was that land survey will reduce the existing unending land disputes in some districts in the region.

According to Kebwe, the use of the modern technology would increase transparency in the land issue. “Unless there is transparency and good land policies, land disputes will continue to exist in our districts,” he warned.

The Regional Commissioner summed up with emphasis that land use planning is the only solution to end land disputes between farmers and herders.

Mlimba Ward Councilor, Farida Madenyu said the programme would to a great extent reduce land disputes in the district. She said that the villagers will now be able to own land and use it as collateral when seeking loans from financial institutions.