LAND SHARING IN KISENYI SLUM – UPDATE

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By Skye Dobson;

The Kisenyi II land-sharing project will pilot an innovative approach to upgrading an informal settlement under siege. Kisenyi sits in the heart of Kampala and its prime location makes the land highly valuable and consequently very attractive to investors, developers and businesses. For the urban poor, the high value is a threat as landowners find it difficult to refuse the high sums they are offered by developers and frequently sell without consulting sitting tenants. The resultant evictions have become rampant in the area and the Federation is eager to demonstrate an alternative strategy to upgrading.  

While eviction and relocation destroy the rich and intricate networks that communities have established over decades, an agreement for land sharing has the potential to preserve them while also availing land to private interests. Following enumeration, the Uganda alliance identified a landowner in Kisenyi III who has titles to 1.6 acres of land within the settlement. With information garnered from other affiliates on land-sharing the Federation was able to propose a tri-partite deal whereby the Federation and local community, the landowner and a developer would share the land. For the developer, prime land is made available through negotiation, rather than messy eviction. For the landowner, who is currently unable to reap much benefit from his land owing to the high population of squatters, a secure piece of land, a new high-quality residential structure, and upgraded infrastructure will all ensure his asset appreciates dramatically. For the Federation/community, secure tenure and safe, permanent housing will improve the quality of life in Kisenyi III tremendously.

The landowner was impressed by the suggestion and agreed to go on an exchange to India to view a land-sharing project there. The Federation, meanwhile, conducted a subsequent enumeration of the said land and discovered there are 75 households and 147 residents. Seven of the residents are structure owners and the Federation is engaged in negotiations with this group about the proposed development. The Federation sought technical support from an SDI architect with tremendous experience in the area of land-sharing and is working with local and foreign students to generate possible house designs.

The community has been working very closely with students from NTNU – a Norwegian University, students from Makerere University, and SDI to move the process forward.

 In view of the intended land sharing agreement between slum dwellers of Kisenyi 3 and a land owner, arrangements have been underway to collect information about the people who are living on the land as well as devise interventions on how re-development can be undertaken

A section of the entire slum population living in Kisenyi 3 resides on Hajji Mulangwa’s land. This land which is approximately 1.6 acres has 25 structures of which 18 of them are home to 75 households. There other structures are mainly used for commercial purposes.

As per the table below, the structure uses Residential and Residential & Commercial represent those structures that are Habitable.

Structure Use No. of Structures
Commercial 3
Residential 12
Residential & Commercial 6
Uninhabited 4
TOTAL 25

Table 1: Structure use for Housing in Kisenyi 3 on Hajji Mulangwa’s land

Even though, the land is owned by one individual, Hajji Mulangwa, there are also people who own the structures on the land, and these are but only 7 in number.

There are a variety of tenure relations on the land; involving a land owner, structure owners and occupants of the structures (these are the structure tenants). The land owner, in this case, is 1 Hajji Mulangwa, 7 structure owners and as mentioned above, 75 households on this piece of land.

Stakeholder Number
Land owner 1
Structure Owner  7
Resident Households 75

Table 2: Stakeholder Analysis