The chapter is based on primary data collected from the Babati and Iringa districts in Tanzania. In Iringa, Ndiwili and Ilalasimba villages were involved. In Babati, Mamire and Mwada villages were used. These districts were engaged because of three reasons. Firstly, these were among the districts where the first ten land formalization scale-up projects were undertaken between 2006 and 2010. Secondly, these are among the districts characterized by a high number of the land use conflicts registered with the District Land and Housing Tribunal (DLHT). For example, by 2013 about 375 land disputes were registered with the DLHT (Babati DLHT, 2013). Thirdly, formalization projects in these districts adopted different approaches, and differed in terms of technology of adjudication. For example, Ilalasimba village in Iringa DC, was selected because it was one of the first pilot projects using the Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST) in Tanzania, and the project was scaled-up into other villages in the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) (USAID, 2011). The MAST project was implemented using mobile phone technology to facilitate the process of land registration and administration. It also employed village youths as Trusted Intermediaries engaged in mapping the village land.

Three methods of data collection were adopted. Firstly, household surveys were used to collect data on research question one and two. Secondly, interviews done with Land Officers and Village Executive Officers were used to inform on the registration processes, adjudication, and statutory change of customary arrangements of land use planning, ownership, and registration. Lastly, documentary review was used to review the available data on land use conflicts, land use plans, and registry. Regarding the data analysis, the paper adopted an interpretative analysis.

Integrating Customary Land Use Planning and Statutory Recognition of the Village Land

Village Boundary and Certification for Village Recognition

Establishment of village boundaries and certificate is among the strategies to recognize and integrate customary land arrangements into statutory rights. Under customary arrangements, villages were established and recognized through traditional features and general boundaries such as hills,


Benefits of Issuance of Certificate of Village Land


Assurance of village existence

Reduced land use conflict

Protect village boundary

Allocation of land



25 (47%)

14 (26)

8 06)


53 (23.6)


41 (51)

11 (14)


11 03)



57 (54)



19 09)

105 (29.9)


62 (61)



20 (20)

102 (30.7)

Source: Field Data, 2016.

rivers, and forests (TFCG, 2015). These were used to define community and village land rights. With land formalization, village boundaries and jurisdiction are recognized through a Certificate of Village Land (CVL) and specific boundaries are demarcated by beacons. Section 7 of the Village Land Act 1999 in Tanzania, requires that before land formalization proceeds, the area to be formalized has to be well agreed upon by neighboring villages, and boundaries demarcated. In this regard, each village confirms its boundaries before being issued with a CVL. In case there are boundary conflicts, settlements must be done (URT, 1999). It is the Village Land Act 1999, Section 8 that also empowers the village council to manage and allocate the village land.

In the view of household respondents, establishment of CVL has various benefits and implications to customary land rights. The results in Table 9.1 show that 61% of people involved in the study perceived that CVL assures the existence of village, 10% felt it protects the boundaries of the village, 20% that it is useful in land allocation, and 9% thought it reduces land use conflicts. These benefits show that formalization legally recognizes the existence of a village and it empowers local leaders to register and allocate land. Local community members are integrated in the statutory system of land ownership and recognition. Despite such integration, formalization has just offered a non-pragmatic solution to village autonomy in land ownership and registration. The central government is still a supreme organ in surveying, registration, and approval of land rights.

Village Land Use Plan and Integration of Customary Rights into Statutory System

Through village land use planning (VLUP), land management is effected (Kushoka, 2011). Land use planning under the customary system is done through the traditional arrangement of land uses for grazing, worshiping, and cemetery. These are separated from residential uses, although farming has sometimes been integrated with residential uses (Huggins, 2016). Chiefdoms and clanships were responsible for organization of land uses into different categories. To date, these land uses have been formalized through the enactment of the Land Use Planning Act 2007 (No. 6 of 2007) and the Village Land Act 1999, and the land policy (1995) (Huggins, 2016). These regulatory and management instruments have established village level institutions. These are: the Village Land Council (VLC), Village Assembly (VA), Village Land Use Management Committee (VLUMC), Village Technician (Para-Technician) (VT), and Village Land Use Plan Team (VLUP Team). These institutions have different roles in the process, planning, and enforcement of a VLUP.

VLUPs are prepared with different objectives ranging from conflict resolution, enhancement of land tenure security, and increased agricultural productivity through identification of areas for commercial agricultural investment and ensuring land allocation for investment. Others are to facilitate conservation of sensitive ecosystems and critical habitat and mitigate risks of land grabbing (UCRT, 2010; Mango and Kalenzi 2011; Milder et al„ 2013; Hart et al„ 2014). So far, customary land uses have been integrated into statutory land tenure systems through established and designed land use plans and maps, as presented in Figures 9.1 and 9.2.

In an attempt to compare the benefits and challenges of land use planning, the analysis from this study shows that although there are positive implications for improving land uses and administration, the challenge of enhancing security of tenure manifests through the limited availability of land use maps on the village and hamlet levels. Land use maps, although they are available at district level, are not available at village and hamlet level. Huggin (2016) asserted that VLUPs were not available at district headquarters. Deininger, Hilhors, and Songwe (2014) revealed that in African countries, land use plans were often lacking or outdated, and if they existed, their elaboration was non-participatory. Centralized planning is one of the factors contributing to this challenge. One of the district land officers in Babati emphasized:

Due to the bureaucratic and centralized procedures of the preparation of VLUP. the land use map for

Mwada village was not brought back to the respective village and it cannot be found even at the district level

Furthermore, the land use planning process has not managed to ensure that sufficient pasture land is allocated for the pastoralists. Huggins (2016) and Hart et al. (2014) observed that in the Arusha region and the Mbarali district, Mbeya region, a small portion of land is allocated for pastures. Also, the stocks routes, water points, and cattle dip within the grazing zone are missing (Kosyando, 2006; Kimbi et al., 2014). Pastoralists are still facing a shortage of pastureland compelling them to invade the farming land. Also, the shortage of pastureland in Babati district occurs because of the seasonal migration of the Iraqw tribe (agro-pastoralists) and Barabaig tribe (semi-nomadic pastoralists) who come with a huge amount of livestock that results in scarcity and inadequacy of the pastures. Climate change was also associated with shortage of pastures. For example, Brachiaria spp. grass which used to be found near Lake Burunge which was very important during dry season has nowadays disappeared due to climate change. The same experiences occur in Kilosa, Kilindi, Longido, Ngorongoro,

Mamire Village Land Use Plan showing existing land use. Source

FIGURE 9.1 Mamire Village Land Use Plan showing existing land use. Source: Mamire Village Government. 2010.

Mamire Village Land Use Plan showing future land use. Source

FIGURE 9.2 Mamire Village Land Use Plan showing future land use. Source: Mamire Village Government, 2010.

Monduli, and Simanjiro districts. This has also contributed to Masai youths migrating to urban areas searching for petty jobs, such as serving as watchmen or working in beauty salons. Also, pastoralists switch to alternative breeds and species, for example, from cattle to sheep, goats, or chickens which are better adapted to more marginal conditions (Sangeda and Malole, 2013).

The challenges associated with the process and practices of VLUP imply that the VLUP is not an effective instrument for ensuring land tenure security for farmers and pastoralists in rural areas, in case it is not well-planned and not involving primary stakeholders. The current practice and process have not addressed the problem of land conflicts; it has not established the mechanisms for motivating the VLUMC. Because of this problem, ILC (2013) reported that members of VLUMC opt to engage in other livelihood opportunities. Other indicators of a failed VLUP process occur through continued conducting of economic activities near water sources.

Enactment of By-Laws and Integration of Customary Land Rights

By-laws have the role of guiding appropriate use of land. They provide guidance for what is supposed to be done, and the associated fines, penalties, and restricted land uses in villages (NLUPC, 2011). For example, the established by-laws in Ndiwili village Iringa described the prohibited farming practices, building, and burning in the pastureland. They also prohibited cutting of trees in the forests without permission. By-laws were also established in other villages. However, the enforcement of by-laws in these villages is weak, and is associated with two major challenges.

Firstly, fines are very low, giving openings for deliberate breach. In Mwada village, the Wamang’ati[1] have been deliberately directing their livestock into farms because they believe they are able to pay the fines. These fines and penalties have become weak instruments for enforcement

Traditional irrigation at Ilalasimba Village (Vinyungu)

FIGURE 9.3 Traditional irrigation at Ilalasimba Village (Vinyungu).

Traditional irrigation at Ilalasimba Village (Vinyungu)

FIGURE 9.4 Traditional irrigation at Ilalasimba Village (Vinyungu).

of VLUP. According to Lugalla (2010), low fines and penalties pave the way for violating the existing by-laws and regulations. Weak by-laws have also been contributing to some local leaders taking bribes from pastoralists and allowing them to graze in restricted areas. In Ilalasimba village, it was reported that village leaders deliberately avoid enforcing by-laws because they are also engaged in owning and cultivating near water sources and engage in a traditional farming practice known as Vinyungu[2] (see Figures 9.3 and 9.4).

Lastly, enforcement of by-laws at village level is affected by political interference. Sometimes contradictions occur between what the law stipulates and the interest of politicians. For example, conducting socio-economic activities within 60 m of the water sources is restricted by the Water Resource Management Act 2009 section 34 and the Environmental Management Act 2004 section 57(1) (URT, 2004; 2009) which stipulate that

No human activities of a permanent nature or which may, by their nature, likely to compromise or adversely affect conservation and or the protection of ocean, river bank, water bank or reservoir, shall be conducted within sixty meters.

Contrary to these laws, politicians have been allowing people to conduct human activities such as farming closer to water sources. When experts intervene to enforce the laws, they are told by the politicians to leave people to proceed with their activities because they are their voters. This suggests that the success of by-laws on ensuring land tenure security does not only rest on their existence but also enforcement, actors’ willingness, and people’s compliance. Weakly designed bylaws in terms of low fines, low education level among village leaders, and low motivation among village leaders, due to the inadequate budget for the implementation of strategies identified in the Community Action Plan (CAP), are other disincentives of enforcement. This implies that by-laws established to implement VLUP are rubber-stamped and a manifestation of the business-as-usual process.

  • [1] One of the pastoralist tribes in Tanzania whose main livelihood is livestock keeping, they move from place to another insearch for pastureland.
  • [2] Vinyungu refers to irrigation potholes locally made through traditional materials such as mud, sands, canals, and grasses.
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