Appropriate regularisation of Land management will foster inclusive affordable housing: Minister Nabakooba

Appropriate regularisation of Land management will foster inclusive affordable housing: Minister Nabakooba
Lands, Housing and Urban Development Minister, Judith Nabakooba at Africa Housing Forum, Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi Kenya from12th-14th May, 2022

In order to address the challenges in land acquisition, housing in informal settlements including the rising number of slums, poor solid waste management, deteriorating urban environment, a weak urban economy among others, there is need a strong political will and  financial backing to reverse the situation.

According to Lands, Housing and Urban Development  Minister, Judith Nabakooba while presenting at Africa Housing Forum, Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi Kenya happening from12th-14th May, 2022, the minister said that if land management is regularised appropriately, there will potential to generate investment for affordable and inclusive housing.

“When you appropriately regularize land management system, there is immense potential of organizing investment from both the private and public sector to ensure a steady supply of adequate and affordable housing” she said.

The minister highlighted that  enabling environment set up by government can be utilised while depending  on how efficient land for housing is administered in the country.

“Government has shouldered the responsibility of creating an environment in which households, firms, CSOs and community groups can operate effectively, and efficiently to provide decent and affordable housing” she added.

Available land reforms in Uganda include the following:

·       The 1995 Constitution and the Land Act, 1998 redefined land administration by establishing robust institutional structures to steer good land governance. Lawful and Bonafide occupants are recognized and do have rights and obligations that must be respected despite the multiple and/or overlapping claims on the same piece of land.

·        The four land tenure systems; freehold, leasehold, Mailo land, and customary systems of land ownership were re- instated.

·         The customary tenure system was formalized as one of Uganda’s legally recognized land tenure systems. Customary land owners may acquire a certificate of customary ownership for their land as a documentary evidence of their rights.

·         In addition, Article 237 of the 1995 Constitution bestowed the ultimate ownership of land to the people of Uganda, vested in them according to the four land tenure systems above.

·         Protection of the vulnerable groups especially the women and children. The Act provides that spouses and children must consent to any form of transactions in the land on which they live, occupy and derive sustenance.

·        A Land Fund was provided for, to assist tenants by occupancy to acquire registrable interests in land and to facilitate the resettlement of the landless by the Government.

·        National Land Information System (NLIS). This has been ongoing since 2013 to enhance the efficiency of the Land Registry regarding storage, access, and retrieval of land information. There are 23 Ministry Zonal offices to address this.

The status and trend in land and informal settlements in Uganda:

·       Uganda has an estimated population of about 45 million of which close to 25% is urban.

·       The urban population is estimated to increase from the current 25% to 50% by the year 2050.

·       The rate of urbanisation in Uganda is about 5.3% annually and the population growth rate is about 3.2% per annum.

·       Around 60% of the urban population live in slums and informal settlements.

·       As a consequence, the country has a 2.2 million housing deficit (shortfall). The shortfall is mainly in the low and lower middle income brackets

·       The Annual need for new housing is 200,000 units; yet construction rate of reasonably good houses is estimated at 60,000 units; creating a deficit of 140,000 units annually.