The Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) in partnership and collaboration with Soroti District Local Government, Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM Uganda), Oxfam, Trocaire, Community Integrated Development Initiatives (CIDI), Land and Equity Movement in Uganda (LEMU), LANDnet Uganda, Food Rights Alliance (FRA), the Legal Aid Service Providers Network (LASPNET), formal and informal land actors is organizing the Land Awareness Week (LAW) event.
The event will take place from 26th February to 2nd March 2018 in Soroti District. It will be held under the theme, “Our Land, Our Heritage for Socio-Economic Development!”
Why the land Awareness Week?
For many years the land actors have focused on improving the land situation through a range of interventions in partnerships, consortia, and coalitions. However, there are still major concerns about the increasing number of land disputes and conflicts which have resulted into land tenure insecurity, land grabbing and loss of livelihood for many small scale farmers, women and men and consequently leading to low/under/non utilization of land, low productivity, food insecurity, and poverty.
Most information on land laws is complex for an ordinary person to comprehend since most of them have not been translated into simple understandable local languages. On this basis therefore, the land awareness week will provide a platform to share and disseminate knowledge to the community/public on all land related policies and laws, access to justice with regard to land governance, management and administration.
Main purpose of the Land Awareness Week
The main purpose of the Land Awareness Week (LAW) is to provide a platform for dialogue and massive community awareness raising on policies and laws on land governance, land management and land administration and access to justice to strengthen land stakeholders’ capacity and enhance effectiveness and accountability in the delivery of land services. Specifically, the LAW is being organised to;
- To raise awareness of women, men, youth, PWDs, other vulnerable groups on land rights and land laws for effective engagements in land governance, management, land administration and access to justice.
- To provide a platform for community to dialogue with and hold the land duty bearers accountable for the delivery of land services.
- To provide a platform for women, men, youth, PWDs, other vulnerable groups to access guidance and legal counseling on land matters through Mobile Legal Clinics.
- Strengthen the linkages and collaboration among land actors at local and national levels.
- To document evidence based land rights issues to inform national level advocacy.
Planned activities during the LAW
- The Open Public Sensitization: This shall run for the entire week in selected locations. The public will be provided with information and platforms to sharw their views on land laws, land rights, developments within the land sectors and MLHUD among other. Issues from the public will be consolidated into policy briefs that will be presented to the Local Government of Soroti and MLHUD during the climax ceremony of the event.
- Mentorship of the Area Land Committees and District Land Board (DLB) members: 50 members of the ALCs in Soroti district (from Katine, Asuret and other sub counties) and the DLB will be attached to the community sensitization forum for mentorship by the team’ legal experts. This is meant to further build their capacity in land governance and administration issues.
- District level stakeholders’ meetings: A 1-day stakeholders’ engagement meeting will be held at the district headquarters where the partners will disseminate and share relevant research on land rights, environmental issues, among others with land stakeholders (MPs, MLHUD, police, judiciary, district officials, cultural, opinion & religious leaders, CSOs, media, private sector etc).
- Music exhibition: We will utilise local talent to produce songs on the LAW theme. A panel of adjudicators and farmers will select the best three songs on the closing day of the awareness week. These will then be refined and widely promoted across the region.
- Media engagements: through news bulletins, spot messages singling out selected provisions of the land act, succession act, etc; radio talk shows etc.
- Mobile legal clinics: The Mobile Legal Clinics will be set up as parallel events in the respective open public sensitization venues for farmers to report their land related cases and get information on land. The clinics will be open to the general public. The services offered will strictly be legal advice and counseling.
- Climax March and closing ceremony: This will be held on the final day. The closing ceremony shall involve an open dialogue and presentation of issues/voices from farmers in regards to land governance and land administration to MLHUD and Soroti District Local Government.
- Parallel events: these will include; Exhibition/showcasing of land rights related work done by the various farmer groups, CSOs, MLHUD and Soroti district local government; Legal clinics offering counseling and legal advice.
- Church/Mosque LAW sermons; We will have various religious denominations dedicate their sermons on land Rights issues so as to reach believers with the LAW information.