Land use ownership policy and conflict management: A case study of Kashambya Sub-County, Kabale District (1962-2012)
Ahumuza, John M. Vianney
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The research was about land use ownership policy and conflict management. It sought to establish the effectiveness of land use policy in the management of land use ownership conflicts taking Kashambya Sub-County in Kabale District as a case study. The area of study was selected because it bears the largest part of conserved wetland in Kabale District covering 3.1 Kilometers and has been prone to land use ownership conflicts related to conservation. The government previous in 1950’s allowed the people of Kabale to freely access wetlands to cope up with increasing population. This was to be reversed after 1995 following environmental degradation concerns which resulted into conflict. The specific objectives of the study were to identify/ characterize land use conflicts in Kashambya Sub County; establish conflict management options available in Kashambya Sub- County; and assess the effectiveness of the national land use policy in the management of land use conflicts in Uganda. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were used. Qualitative method was used as ideal for a case study research to enable the researcher gather in depth information about land use ownership policy and conflict management. Data was collected using the following approaches; key informants interviews, participant observation and analysis of documents and materials related to the study area. The research also used quantitative methods using structured questionnaires. Responses were collected, frequencies tallied, tabulated into tables, pie charts and mathematically computed into percentages for interpretation. The findings of the study were that that whereas the NLUP clearly spells out options of managing land use ownership conflicts, implementation of these strategies is a source of conflict. It was also revealed that the inherent elements in NLUP that enhances peace building have not been effectively utilised by policy implementers. High population growth has led to swamp reclamation. To manage the land use conflicts in Kashambya Sub-county, it is suggested that implementing organs of land use ownership policy caters for the interests and attitudes of all concerned parties. The views of local communities must be taken into account to avert land use ownership conflicts. It is concluded that despite these challenges the research noted that the NLUP is still a vital tool for ensuring sustainable management and conservation of the environment in Uganda. It was noted further that the setback to the effectiveness of NLUP in containing land use ownership conflicts is in the implementation as opposed to formulation. The research recommends all stakeholders involved in policy implementation should respect guidelines laid down in LUP statements in order to manage land use ownership conflicts. It is also recommended that in approaching challenges of conservation, grass root communities need to be involved in decision making since they are directly affected by the changes which causes conflict. Indigenous methods of mitigating land use ownership conflict too need to be applied in conflict management strategies by NLUP implementing stakeholders to achieve peace.