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Govt gears up land disputes settlement drive

Govt gears up land disputes settlement drive

THE Fifth Phase Government has made great strides in addressing land disputes in the country through instituting measures that resulted in more than 120,000 conflicts being resolved.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Mr William Lukuvi said the measures included preparation of land use plans and embarking on various projects aimed at ensuring security of tenure.

 He said that in the past five years, the government also focused on strengthening land disputes settlement systems, where 10,120 clashes have been administratively resolved and 112,243 disputes also settled through land tribunals.

"The government has continued to take necessary actions to ensure that land conflicts are resolved  peacefully, by completing a strategic plan that resolves land conflicts through focusing on planning, surveying and granting  ownership  of every plot in the country," Minister Lukuvi said.

He added that in dealing with land use disputes, 920 villages out of 975 in protected areas, which had land disputes, were formalized.

Mr Lukuvi said the 920 villages were allocated pieces of land after the government annulled 12 protected areas with 707,659.94 acres and seven forest reserves.

The Minister added that the government also endorsed the decision to allocate part of the 14 forests reserves for agriculture and livestock and revoked ownership of 16 undeveloped farms so that they are used by farmers and livestock keepers.

The Minister further detailed that his office has also set up a special desk in every district council countrywide, to trace causes of land disputes in their respective areas, and finding lasting solutions to the problems.

"The government has been encouraging public meetings between leaders and citizens, where both parties meet to present their concerns related to land, so solutions are sought," the Minister said.

The government has also surveyed 972,538 plots and 5,765 farms in various councils in the country, identified 134,239 plots and issued 868 residential licences to citizens in Dar es Salaam.

He said that his ministry has prepared 24 land use strategic plans for Arusha, Mwanza, and Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Tanga regions and municipalities  of Mtwara/Mikindani, Musoma, Iringa, Singida, Tabora,

Songea, Sumbawanga, Morogoro, Kigoma/Ujiji, Shinyanga, Lindi, Mpanda and  as well as  Kibaha, Korogwe, Bariadi, Tunduma, Babati, Geita  and  Njombe townships.

Apart, from preparing land use plans, Mr Lukuvi said, his ministry through the National Land Use Planning Commission has continued to resolve land disputes in various areas.

According to him, during the 2019/2020 financial year, land disputes related to village boundaries involving 19 villages bordering Serengeti National Park and national forest reserves were resolved. It has also settled eight boundary disputes among the villages.

The government is currently implementing various projects related to land planning, survey and ownership aimed at ensuring security of tenure to citizens.

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Author: LYDIA SHEKIGHENDA

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