Examining the implications of certificates of customary ownership on land use planning.
Aber Nfilla, Camilla
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Tenure security to land is of fundamental importance to people in Sub Saharan Africa who live in rural areas and make a livelihood from agriculture and other land-based production activities. The increasingly large numbers of people live in conditions of insecurity of tenure and suffer combined impact of poverty, social exclusion and inadequate housing. This population increase has produced a stress on land, fragmentation of small holdings and series of conflicts over access and rights to this natural resource. As a matter of fact, 80% of Ugandans own land under customary tenure, which is administered according to customary rules and practices pertaining to a given geographical. Under Section 8 of the Land Act, a CCO is considered to be confirmation and conclusive evidence of the customary rights and interests specified in it, that the land to which the certificate refers continues to be occupied, used and regulated, and that any transactions in respect of the land undertaken and any third party rights over the land are exercised in accordance with customary law. The government of Uganda has taken a step in helping its citizens in securing their tenures through offering Certificates of customary ownership with the help of various agencies such as UN Habitat/GLTN, International Fertilizer Development Centre and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. This has been implemented in various places over Uganda including Alero subcounty, Nwoya District. This has however been done without considering land use policies and planning in place. This might lead to unplanned developments and land use in this area. The researcher used both qualitative and quantitative methodologies of data collections using a descriptive research design using Alero Sub county as a case study. From the research carried out, 78 questionnaires were filled from District Land officials, Area Land committee officials, potential investors and landowners. The study revealed the process that was adopted in giving out these Certificates of customary ownership, the advantages and disadvantages of this and the policy guidelines in place on how CCOs affect land use. The study has laid out some of the recommendations on how proper land use can be achieved irrespective of the high population growth.