ROBERT OJOK- (radio feature) impact of customary land occupancy in Gulu city.

Gulu city exhibits informal urban expansion just like other cities in Sub Saharan Africa.

There are diversity of circumstances and factors that can contribute to its growth of urban area including tenure rights and security.

In this radio feature with me Robert Ojok, we assess the effect of customary tenure security on urban development with a case study on Gulu city.

During the British colonial rule in the 18th and 19th centuries, Gulu was established as colonial administrative Centre for northern Uganda stretching from Karamoja to west nile but list developed compared to other urban Centers at the time. 

In the 1960s, many Sudanese, Rwandese, and Congolese refugees settled in this area, in around 1990s’, the urban Centre turned to be night commuters Centre during the war of Lord’s Resistance Army.

Last year in July, the government of Uganda upgraded 10 municipalities into cities among other municipalities include, masaka, jinja, Mbarara, port portal, mbale, lira, Arua and Gulu.

This development brought in a lot of panic among some residents in the proposed city boundaries, outgoing Gulu district chairman martin Ojara mapenduzi says this development was perceived negatively by some elders which caused panic and fear about their tenure security,

Cue in mapenduzi

According to ochola Moses a resident of kal ward in laroo-pece division in Gulu city who live on a land measuring to about 10-acres reported that he distributed the available lands among his children and relatives due to cost of registering land as freehold.

Florence Aol Okech a resident of bardege-layibi division has land in 3-different places with different rights, she explains challenges in using unregistered land,

Cue in Florence,

The assertion that urbanization does not take place in thin air but requires enormous amounts of land, maintains that urban growth should be accompanied by the provision of affordable buildable urban land, this can be achieved through efficient urban land management.

Senior land management officer Gulu district Hilder Acan encourages residents of the city to think of registering their land as freeholds,

Cue Hilder,

Land tenure rules define how people access rights to land and define property as the right that a person exercises over an object.

Laroo-pece division has 19 wards with more than half were brought to the city from sub counties of gulu and then omoro districts. 

Mayor of laroo-pece Geoffrey otim is looking at partnering with some charity organizations to aid land registration in his division.

Otim Geoffrey is also thinking of regulating works of city division land committee,

Cue in otim mayor

Frances Birungi odong an activist at Uganda Community Based Association for Women and Children’s welfare right says customary tenure in the city may affect women rights owning land,

Cue in Birungi,

Tools used in most cities to guide development include

The link between land tenure system and urban development is to ensure planned growth of urban areas, access to land on which developments take place and on which planning regulations are applied is governed by rules of tenure.

Coordinator justice and peace commission of Gulu catholic Archdiocese Jacinto okot Okidi says security of tenure including boundary tree planting can provide temporary solutions to tenure security.

Fredrick Mugisa programs coordinator at act together Uganda a charity Organization affiliated to the International network of Slum Dwellers International working in Uganda says occupants and landlords are significant while planning for a city,

Cue in mugisa,

District land board chairman of Nwoya Zerubbabel Abukha says customary land certificate has some weaknesses especially in urban settings,

Cue in zeru,

Mayor of Gulu city Alfred Okwonga pledged protection of community land from any form of violations by intensifying sensitization tenure rights,

Cue okwonga,

Urbanization results in changes in land use from rural to urban and increase in density of developments to meet shelter, movement, nutrition and income needs of residents.

Qualitative and quantitative Research findings show that land in Gulu city is predominantly unregistered and held under customary laws, with few Leasehold, Freehold land tenure systems.   

That is it for the feature, have a good night.

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