Uganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, has an economy that is primarily agrarian. The value of land is high, and wealth and survival are largely linked to land ownership. There is great inequality in access to and ownership of land among communities and across districts. Challenges with different land tenure systems, land law awareness, and a lack of land surveys and registered titles have given rise to conflicts over boundaries, ownership and occupation of land—as well as inheritance.
The MBBI Uganda team is working with the National Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights in Uganda (NAFODU) and other partners to support the capacity of communities and civil society organizations in southwestern Uganda to resolve land related conflicts within families and communities. During an assessment trip in February 2015, team members met with and listened to community members in 4 districts, Kisoro, Kabale, Rukungiri and Ishaka-Bushenyi and learned firsthand about individual and collective land conflict challenges as well as the need to develop capacity for local initiatives to effectively handle those conflicts. The team’s project goals are to (i) create grassroots support for community-based land dispute resolution initiatives and (ii) support the development of an effective and widely used conflict management system in southwestern Uganda to deal with on-going and pervasive land disputes.
In Phase 1 of the project, the team will work with local partners to conduct a series of workshops that will serve to (1) identify persons of influence who will form the foundation of local land dispute resolution initiatives and create support for such initiatives in their communities and (2) disseminate information on civil conflict resolution and peace building options that will empower communities to decide what strategies and processes will work best for them. In Phase 2 of the project, the team plans to support the development and implementation of a local, community land conflict resolution system pilot, based on the results of the training and workshop sessions undertaken in Phase 1.
Partners: National Foundation for Democracy and Human Rights in Uganda (NAFODU), Uganda Land Alliance, Center for Conflict Resolution (CECORE) and Barefoot Law