Butaleja district situated in the Kyoga plains in Eastern Uganda is among the districts where land is largely held customarily. The customary land tenure system is associated with challenges including; (a) its inability to provide security of tenure for landowners; (b) it impedes the advancement of land markets; and (c) it discriminates against women (MLHUD, 2013).
Agriculture particularly subsistence farming is among the main economic activities carried out by the natives as a source of livelihood both in the uplands and wetlands. Land challenges in the uplands include; lack of tenure security due to unregistered land rights, land boundary conflicts and women’s inability to exercise their land rights due to exiting discriminatory social norms on WLPR.
Kyoga plains is generally low lying with 40% of its total area covered in wetlands. Small scale farmers grow paddy rice /low land rice in the wetlands for food consumption and for sale. The increasing population with limited land for settlement and agriculture has continued to encroach on the wetlands leading to their fast deterioration mainly due to absence of appropriate land use planning, supervision and management. The situation has contributed to poor climate conditions, loss of soil fertility and low/poor agricultural yields among other challenges. Smallholder farmers are most affected as the natural resources sustain their lives and their families; many have thus found themselves suffering from hunger and poverty due to the low and fluctuating agricultural gains.
Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) in partnership with UCOBAC undertook a number of interventions to improve resilience of the communities through responsible land tenure and land use practices. UCOBAC promoted the uptake and application of GLTN’s pro-poor and gender responsive land tools
including; Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM), the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) and Land Mediation tool to secure tenure for the rural farmers particularly women, youth and vulnerable groups.
The project is funded by the Kingdom of the Embassy of Netherlands through GLTN and is implemented by UCOBAC in collaboration with Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD), Ministry of Water and Environment (MoWE) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).