At least 300 residents of Rubaaya and Kamuganguzi sub counties in Kabale District on Saturday received free land titles from the Lands Ministry.
David Bahati ,the minister of state for finance ,planning and economic development represented the ministry of Lands while handing over the titles.
One of the beneficiaries, Yudesi Kyarimpa in her late 70’s from Rubaya sub-county said she is now sure that the land now belongs to her legally since she has title.
“The land is mine because government has given me the title,” says Kyarimpa.
The land owners benefited from the lands ministry’s initiative of availing freehold land titles to Ugandans in order to secure land tenure of small holder farmers for improved food security, as well as curbing land grabbing and conflicts.
With funding from the Dutch government, UN-Habitat and the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN), the Lands ministry contracted the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, to carry out surveying and demarcating land for willing landowners at no cost
The pilot project started with Kabale, Mbale and Butaleja. According to the State Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, David Bahati , Kabale was considered due to its record of land fragmentation and land disputes that hinder Agricultural development.
Minister Bahati, also the Ndorwa West MP cautioned residents against land fragmentation which he described as an obstruction to commercial agriculture.
In both Rubaya and Kamuganguzi Sub County, 336 titles were handed over to Landowners who officially applied last year. The Beneficiaries received Freehold Land Identification Numbers (FLIN) and certificates as one of the strategies of increasing access to land and tenure security for all.
The giveaway of certificates caused a lot of excitement to mainly the elderly, who applauded Government for offering them the certificates, which they said gave them legal authority on their land. William Nzibonera ,75 and Moses Kenama said the land titles will help them secure loans for agriculture from microfinance institutions and save them the high interests demanded by Money Lenders.
According to Alex Muhumuza from the International Institute of Rural construction, 650 titles were applied for, in Rubaya and Kamuganguzi subcounties, but only 336 had been printed by 7th Dec. 2019. He said they were in touch with the District authorities and the ministry of lands to ensure that the remaining land titles are printed and given out before the end of March next year.
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