The State Minister for Urban Development at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr Kania Obiga, has said the government policy on compulsory land acquisition will help mitigate land conflicts between government and settlers across the country.
“The increased need for land to facilitate the implementation of vision 2040 and the envisaged economic growth, but also manmade natural disasters has led to an expanding need for compulsory land acquisition. The purposes for which government is legally permitted to acquire land compulsorily are stipulated in Article 26 (2) (a) of the Ugandan Constitution,” he said.
Mr Obiga made the remarks during the 4th awarding ceremony of certificates to 33 participants on the management of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation (MLARR) course, from the Institute of Survey and Land Management in Entebbe on Saturday. The participants are from 11 refugee settlement districts.
“We have talked about it, they [refugees] are not different. When you bring refugees to a given area, you’re displacing the local people who have stayed on that land for so long. In fact it’s even more serious since most of the times you displace them in large numbers, that’s the essence of compensation and explanation so that when the compulsory acquisition is done, the person is not more disadvantaged. They either remain the same level or go a little higher,” he said.
Mr Obiga said the course would be rolled out countrywide because land acquisition shall be applied everywhere.
“The government of Uganda has positively continued to demonstrate the urgent need to put in place a policy, legal and institutional framework to govern land acquisition, population displacement, resettlement and restoration of livelihoods to facilitate land acquisition. This helps to mitigate risks of impoverishment and other harms associated with land acquisition and resettlement,” he said.
The Principal of the Institute of Survey and Land Management, Mr Bernard Oguro, said a total of 118 students, 28 women and 90 men have so far been awarded certificates since the inception of the short course.
“This is the fourth cohort that has successfully been trained at the institute with professionals from 11 refugee hosting districts of Arua, Adjumani, Isingiro, Madi-Okollo, Yumbe, Kamwenge, Lamwo, Obongi, Terego, Kiryandongo, Moyo and one participant from the University of Juba South Sudan. All these districts have had a need to be engaged in land acquisition and resettlement of people,” he said.