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 LEMU - The Land and Equity Movement in Uganda

making land work for us all

Making land work for us all

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Accessing Land for Development:
A guide to Compulsory Acquisition and other alternatives.

Documents produced with support from the Norwegian Refugee Council

Accessing Land for Development
1. The challenges of finding land for development.
2. Development, Land and Rights.
3. Understanding customary law.
4. How can a district acquire land when the owner refuses to sell?
5. How can a local authority can acquire land for public services?
6. How can local authorities promote urban development?
7. How can a district help support private leases/rentals?
8. Pressure from development actors and private developers.
9. Checklist for Districts looking for land for public services.
10. Checklist for donors and NGOs looking for land for public services.
11. An example of a Tenancy/Rental agreement.

Accessing land for development :
A guide to compulsory acquisition and other alternatives. Aug 2009

This pack contains a set of 11 papers. This guide is aimed to help public officials, NGOs and other stakeholders,
who may wish to implement development projects or undertake public construction on private land.
This guide tries to provide clarity on the rules, present options on how to acquire land, and to make suggestions
on preventing possible disputes. This guide can be used in all parts of the country,
as the same laws and procedures apply everywhere.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

1. The challenges of finding land for development. Aug 2009
Everyone recognises the rights of both sides – but it is not so simple to reconcile their competing needs.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

2. Development, Land and Rights. Aug 2009

People’s rights to land are guaranteed by law. Alternatives to compulsory acquisition, based on the
mutual agreement of the local authorities and the landowners, have to be found.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

3. Understanding customary law. Aug 2009
Most land in Uganda is owned under ‘customary tenure’. The law recognises customary ownership
as being equal to ownership with freehold title. However, customary law is not the same as the law
covering freehold land.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

4. How can a district acquire land when the owner refuses to sell? Aug 2009
This leafl et is only intended to give general information concerning The Land Acquisition Act (1965).
Where possible, Districts will usually find it easier to negotiate and reach amicable settlement with
landowners, to lease land or to buy it.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

5. How can a local authority can acquire land for public services? Aug 2009
There are three ways in which land can be obtained for public services. The procedure for compulsory
purchase is long and difficult. It is better if Districts can avoid the process by negotiating for land.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

6. How can local authorities promote urban development? Aug 2009
Urban areas need to be planned. it is impossible to allow people to build whatever they want where they want,
without making proper provision for infrastructure and for proper development of the area. District Government
can help bring people together and help them set up legal agreements.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

7. How can a district help support private leases/rentals? Aug 2009
The Government can choose to lease land instead of buying it. A private lease is just as secure as a lease
with the Government, there is every reason to believe that some people will be interested, once there is
trust in the system.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

8. Pressure from development actors and private developers. Aug 2009
The law is not there to stop development, but only to ensure that when people want to bring development,
they respect the rights of all concerned.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

9. Checklist for Districts looking for land for public services.. Aug 2009
Don’t ignore the problems. Make sure that land issues are considered fully before undertaking any activity
or programme. Remember that respecting land rights is the law.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

10. Checklist for donors and NGOs looking for land for public services. Aug 2009
Seek information, support and advice. You can get this from the District Land Office, from legal aid
providers or private lawyers. Do not accept any land given by anyone (individuals, communities or
the District) without checking the status of the land.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .

11. An example of a Tenancy/Rental agreement. Aug 2009
A standard document that The Parties shall enter into for a rental agreement where by the Landlord shall rent
to the Tenant a described piece of land.
» Download the article as a pdf file . . .