Land Conflict Mitigation Project: Obtaining Land Titles Prove Out of Reach for Some

Obtaining Land Titles Prove Out of Reach for Some

 By Wade Snowdon                                                                                                                                November 5th, 2009

 For over two years, Richard Okello[1] has found himself immersed in a conflict over land with his neighbor.

 “We used to live with no problems but then two years ago, he started to encroach on my property and no longer respects the boundaries,” stated Richard.

 To solve the conflict, he had asked the local elders, neighbors and the Local Council (LC) I for help. While his neighbor temporarily respected the resolutions, he once again continued to extend his boundary onto Richards land.

 Desiring a lasting solution to the conflict, Richard reported the case to the LCII with the hope that the court decision would end the disagreement once and for all.

 However after attending a community sensitization by the Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) about the roles and procedures of the various land conflict mitigation structures in Uganda, Richard decided to withdraw the case. Instead it was agreed by both parties that the conflict would be solved through a meeting between the families.

 Highlighting the importance of restoring the relationship, Richard stated, “If I continue through the court, it will only cause more problems between me and my neighbor. I think mediation will be better so that we can live side by side without problems.”

During the community sensitization, Richard also learned that it was important to register land in order to obtain a land title for proof of ownership. Before the sensitization, he thought that “registering land was a way for the government to steal the land.”

The next day after the sensitization, he traveled to the sub-county headquarters to collect the form required to register the land. However, upon doing so he discovered how expensive of a process it is.

 “The cost is too high and I don’t have the means to pay the fees,” said Richard. “I don’t know how people in the village like me can find the money to pay such money to register something that is ours. I feel the government needs to help us register land so that we can avoid more conflict

 On top of the fee requirement required to obtain an application form, the process of obtaining land titles requires numerous professionals to investigate and demarcate the land which is too expensive for most.

 The Acholi Religious Leaders Peace Initiative (ARLPI) is currently implementing a Land Conflict Mitigation Project funded by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in the districts of Amuru and Pader.


[1] Name changed for confidentiality purposes.