For pastoralists and hunter-gatherers, communal land is essential to preserving their livelihoods. UCRT has found that Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy support collective and responsible land use and are a cost effective way to ensure entire communities to legally obtain land security under the Village Land Act.
We recently celebrated the handing over of CCRO’s for five villages in Monduli District – the largest ceremony in Monduli to date. Monduli is home to an estimated 158,9291 people, primarily traditional Maasai pastoralists. A total of 34,701 hectares of land was secured through these CCRO’s and an additional 5,850 ha through a Village Land Certificate for Mungere.
The hand over ceremony has been years in the making. For a village to receive their Certificate of Customary Rights of Occupancy they must participate in a series of trainings around natural resource management, good governance, communication, leadership, financial management as well as developing tools like grazing calendars and land use plans to help them sustainably manage their land once it’s secured.
This particular handing over ceremony drew quite a crowd, with several hundred community members, partners and government officials in attendance. The villages of Esilalei, Mswakini Chini, Oltukai, Mungere, and Selela all received CCRO’s. The village of Mungere also received its Certificate of Village Land after demarcating village boundaries and developing a land use plan.
In addition to village representatives, attendees of the hand over ceremony included representatives from the land commissioner, District Commissioner, MP, District Executive Director, Head of departments of the District, Land and Livestock Community Development officers, members of the media, and implementation partners.
A special thank you to Trias, The Nature Conservancy, and Wildlife Conservation Society for funding this initiative.