Title: Assessing the effects of land tenure systems on land restoration in northern Uganda: A gender perspective

Author(s): Mirriam Owino
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Jon Geir Petursson
land tenure systems, Uganda, land restoration, gender, degradation


Land tenure systems are central to understanding land use management options in Africa. Land and associated natural resources are central to social, political, and economical strength in most countries whose economy is dependent upon agriculture. In Uganda, about 80% of the rural population depends on agriculture and, therefore, is reliant upon ecosystem services from the environment. Thus, land tenure is an important factor in administration of land, although cultural factors have been shown to have great impact on it and on gender roles from society.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of land tenure systems on land restoration in Northern Uganda, using the case of the Alebtong and Lira districts and focusing on the importance of gender. The data collection for the study consisted of a literature review on Ugandan land-related policy documents and three sets of questionnaires, administered to a) landowners at household level, b) district agricultural, environmental and land officers of the two districts and c) local council leaders to obtain information on tenure, restoration, and gender. The results confirmed customary land tenure as the main form of administration and that the majority of landowners in the study were males (86.5%) while few women owned land. According to the respondents, most women had only land user rights (87.5%). However, they were highly involved in activities to restore degraded land. Therefore, tenure has impact on restoration practices and gender is important when designing and implementing restoration projects. The results highlight the gap between documented policy on land ownership and the reality of land administration.

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