Land at Scale Uganda


Insecure tenure security hinders all kinds of development. It condemns the poor and vulnerable people to the margins of society and economies, fuels conflicts, drives unsustainable land-use patterns and destroys the livelihoods of those in most need. Weak land governance enables continued inequality and corruption. The Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions in the past two years have worsened many countries’ land tenure insecurity. Strengthening land and property rights is therefore crucial because it leads directly to broader equality and more sustainable development, from a global to local scale, across different identity groups

Wetland management visit in Butaleja

Land is widely recognized as a pivotal element of Uganda’s economic and social transformation, as evidenced by the government’s ambition to improve tenure security, and systematically title all land by 2040. Approximately 70% of Uganda’s working population is employed in the agricultural sector and ranks first in terms of the labor force in the Ugandan economy. In 2021, agriculture accounted for about 23.7% of GDP and 31% of export earnings. Hence, agriculture is strategically vital to poverty reduction, especially in rural areas where most of the population is employed in the agricultural sector. In addition, food security, gender equality, and mitigation against the effects of a changing climate cannot be achieved unless issues of access to land, security of tenure and the capacity to use land productively and in a sustainable manner are addressed. Therefore, any attempt to alleviate poverty must be centered on reinforcement of land rights and opportunities arising from land and agriculture.

Validation of the Kitumba Sub County land use framework

Customary land tenure is Uganda’s most dominant land tenure, accounting for over 80% of the land which is administered according to customary rules and practices of that geographical or culturally defined area. Most communities and families who access land through this tenure do not have formal documentation because this land is not officially registered. Land users on customary lands face several challenges such as dispossession of their land due to increasing land scarcity caused by the high population growth, environmental degradation, changing climate conditions, land conflicts, among others. In all customary tenure regimes in Uganda, women’s land rights are secondary to, and weaker than those of men. Moreover, wetlands in Uganda are presently under increasing threat due to encroachment. Therefore, there is an urgent need to integrate land tenure security efforts and land use planning to underpin the sustainable use of land whilst preserving natural resources.
GLTN, as facilitated by UN-Habitat, is addressing these issues through the “Scaling up Community-based Land Registration and Land use Planning on Customary Land in Uganda“. The initiative is a four-year project implemented in two phases: the consolidation phase one (1.5 years) and the scaling up phase two (2.5 years). Phase one is being implemented in two (2) agro production zones in Uganda, i.e. South Western region (Kabale) and Kyoga Plains (Butaleja). Phase two will be implemented based on the experiences of phase one in the West Nile and Elgon regions of Uganda. The project strongly focuses on national and local strategic partnerships, prioritising improving rural smallholder farmers’ tenure security and implementing capacity development initiatives, and builds on a previous successful pilot project, “Securing Land Tenure for Improved Food Security in Select Areas in Uganda” which was operational between November 2017 to March 2020.

Wetland use in Butaleja

Project Goal: Development of a structured, participatory, and scalable approach towards improved tenure security and sustainable land use for men, women, and youth on customary land in Uganda, which is obtained using fit-for-purpose and participatory tools and approaches.

– Improved tenure security for women, men, and youth
– Inclusive, climate-smart, and sustainable land use planning
– Improved capacity and awareness of key land stakeholders on customary land registration and land use planning

Mapping team during the mapping and adjudication process of land rights in Butaleja district

Implementing Partners
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD)
Uganda Community Based Association for Women and Children’s Welfare (UCOBAC)
Makerere University-School of Built Environment (MAK-SBE)
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR)

In close collaboration with
Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS)
ACTogether Uganda
International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC)
Local governments in South Western Uganda, the Kyoga plain region, the West Nile region and the Elgon region
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Uganda

Funding Partners
Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) through the LAND-at-Scale Programme of the Netherlands Government.

Mapping team during the mapping and adjudication process of land rights in Kitumba Sub- County, Kabale district

Project Resources
Visibility materials
Project brief: Scaling up community-based land registration and land use planning on customary land in Uganda

Web articles and blogs
Strengthening tenure security, food security, and environmental sustainability: Stakeholders in share experiences and develop strategies for Kabale district
Uganda Prime Minister issues customary land certificates to residents of Kitumba Subcounty in Kabale district
Validation workshop of Physical Development Plan (PDP) for Kitumba Sub-County in Kabale District
Scaling up community-based land registration and land use planning on customary land in Uganda
“Scaling up Community-based Land Registration and Land Use Planning on Customary Land in Uganda” project launched
Discussing Gender in LAND-at-scale projects [Land Portal]
Achieving and sustaining tenure: experiences from Uganda [Land Portal]

Validation workshop for Kitumba Subcounty Physical Development Plan, 9th December 2022
Handover of Certificates of Customary Ownership in Kabale District, 10th December 2022

Contacts Information
For any concern, complaint, suggestions or information regarding the implementation of the project, please contact us:
E-mail: | Tel: +254 20 762 5199 | Fax: +254 20 762 4256