The pilot project started with districts in northern Uganda and 1,000 titles were last Thursday handed over to beneficiaries during the World Population Day celebrations.
Some of the beneficiaries who got titles last week
Landowners in four districts in the central region and one in western Uganda are scheduled to receive land titles.
The residents will be beneficiaries of the lands ministry’s initiative of availing 5,000 free customary land titles to Ugandans in order to curb land grabbing.
Henry Harrison Irumba, the principal policy analyst in the lands ministry, noted that in March the ministry, working with UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), launched a campaign of surveying and demarcating land for willing landowners at no cost.
Other areas in the central region to benefit from the exercise include Mityana in the sub-counties of Malangala, Kikandwa and Maanyi. In Mubende, the exercise will be held in Nabingoola, Kigando, East and West Divisions in Mubende Municipality as well as Bukuya in Kassanda district.
The demarcation and survey exercise in the central region, according to Irumba is funded by GIZ (German International Cooperation).
In the sub-county of Kitumba in Kabale, the ministry has scheduled to issue 2,500 titles under the $300,000 exercise funded by UN-Habitat, including two sub-counties of Ciforo and Paleke in Adjumani.
The beneficiaries who officially apply for the exercise receive Customary Land Identification Numbers (CLIN) and are issued with certificates as one of the strategies of increasing access to land and tenure security for all, according to Irumba.
The pilot project started with districts in northern Uganda, including Adjumani in West Nile, where 1,000 titles were last Thursday handed over to beneficiaries during the World Population Day celebrations at Paridi Stadium in Adjumani town.
Irumba said due to high demand, the ministry had decided to scale-up the exercise from the two sub-counties to the entire district and later roll it countrywide.
“Our target is to produce at least 5,000 land titles in the next year,” he said.
Benefits of helping citizens to acquire certificates, according to information from the ministry include enabling owners to bear collateral as security to ease the process of borrowing money from financial institutions.
It also gives the owner a sense of self-sufficiency and independence and allowing them to easily bequeath their property as they may wish. The title also gives security of tenure and allows women be accorded the right to land ownership.
The giveaway of certificates caused a lot of excitement to mainly elderly widows who applauded the Government for offering them the certificates, which they said gave them security on their land.
The Land Act 1998 recognises four categories of land tenure systems, including customary, freehold, mailo and leasehold. It states that all Uganda citizens owning land under customary tenure may acquire a certificate of ownership in a manner prescribed by Parliament.