Discover hidden stories and unheard voices on land governance issues from around the world. This is where the Land Portal community shares activities, experiences, challenges and successes.
The ongoing pandemic and the formal and informal responses to its spread have very direct impacts on the food and nutrition security of people in all parts of the world. Strong concerns have been voiced that the global health crisis could turn into a global food crisis.
This blog recapitulates the interventions made by the panelists of a recently held GODAN Action webinar on “Empowering Women for Open Data Mapping in Agriculture: Implications for Land Rights and the SDGs in Africa”, Victor Sunday, Dr. Toyin Ojo, Nathalie Sidibe and Uchechi Shirley Anaduaka.
The current Covid 19 pandemic is likely to spread in the next few weeks and months to the South and in particular South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. The impact may well be of a greater scale than that currently experienced in the North; India was the region with the highest loss of live in the 1918-1919 Spanish flu Pandemic. The experience and historical experience suggests that urban areas will be disproportionately affected.
The fallout from COVID-19 has triggered narratives about profound changes to economic ordering. A closer look provides a more complex picture, particularly for countries in the global South.
As the world begins to reckon with the scale of COVID-19’s economic impacts, there is a growing sense that the pandemic will reconfigure the role of state and market for years to come.
By Rohan Bennett, Eva-Maria Unger, Christiaan Lemmen, Kees de Zeeuw
By now, most readers are likely to have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – perhaps directly through their own health or the health of those they know, or more indirectly through loss of work or income… and almost certainly through the changes in social norms and freedoms brought about by various lockdowns. This article explores the relevance of the land administration sector, disaster risk management and spatial information in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
Platforms struggle to support communities to secure their land rights and develop agriculture
When the new coronavirus (COVID-19) arrived Africa in January 2020, governments announced draconian measures to contain its spread, including restricting movement and association.
Governments all over are asking people to stay at home, and The Gambia is no exception. Whilst this is to curb movements to limit the transmission of COVID-19, these steps can have unintended consequences for the poorest & most vulnerable.
It’s time we break down the barriers to women’s access to land and protect women’s rights while the pandemic places them in a precarious situation
Not only is the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) having serious health impacts around the world, it also has the potential to significantly affect the housing, land, and property (HLP) of women and girls, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
Women at a disadvantage
Informal workers and desperate journeys
‘Corona lockdown’ led to one of the biggest migrations in India’s modern history. Hungry, thirsty and hapless- millions of migrant workers who form the backbone of our glittering megacities- took to the road, on desperate journeys home. These migrant workers are part of the informal economy- toiling away in construction sector and small factories, recycling waste or doing other precarious jobs. Many of them are landless or small/marginal farmers from rainfed farming areas, migrating seasonally.
Anna Letaiko is a middle-aged woman with a soft voice that carries wisdom and strength. Her husband is an older man, and together they live in small mud house in Mundarara – a remote village in Longido district in Tanzania, accessible only by a rough dirt road. It is a Maasai community similar to the one in which I grew up, except that the community’s livelihood is based on mining and pastoralism while my community still depends on farming and pastoralism.
I met Anna through my work with WOLTS – a five-year action research project on women’s land rights in pastoral communities that are affected by mining. As a speaker of the Maasai language, my job is to facilitate and translate in training sessions and help develop training materials.
In Maasai culture, it is very rare for women to own land. Men see themselves as owning land on behalf of the whole family. If women do apply for land, they usually apply in the name of their husband or son.
However, the law in Tanzania (Land Act, 1999, and Village Land Act, 1999) grants women and men the same rights to land access, ownership and control. The law also says that women have the same rights in decision-making over land. What Maasai customs mean in practice is that women are denied the right to apply for land and own it themselves.
During our research we heard that, when women in Mundarara applied for land in their own names, their applications were ignored, not taken seriously, and even thrown away. Some women were even asked for sex in exchange for land documents.
Our aim through the WOLTS project is to support the community to find their own solutions to land rights problems. To help them achieve this, we asked them to select community ‘champions’ who would be trained in land rights, mining laws, investment laws, mineral valuation and legal procedures for licence applications, as well as gender-based violence.
Anna was one of the first champions to be trained in Mundarara. When we first started working in the community, Anna did not even know that she had the right to own land. After the WOLTS training sessions, she put in an application, and it was taken seriously.
A few months later, Anna received a small plot near the village centre where she wants to build a modern house. As a trained champion for gender equity, she has promised to help other women by raising awareness and assisting them to become land owners like herself.
The growth of artisanal mining in Mundarara has brought many changes to the community, including giving families new sources of income. Women are finding that they have more opportunities to earn money and participate in community and family decision-making, including through land ownership.
Documenting and sharing Anna Letaiko’s story reminded me how quickly life is changing in pastoral districts due to factors like mining. I hope it will inspire readers, raise the voices of less fortunate groups, and improve everyday life in communities similar to my own.