Tanzania: The Government of Tanzania granted TZS 3.6 billion (TZS: Tanzanian Shilling) for the construction of a satellite centre in Dodoma. The centre aims to expedite the operations of the Land Mapping Division of the Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Ministry. It will be equipped with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that each piece of land in the country is accurately measured and identified.
The centre will make Tanzania the fourth country in Africa, to have a modern land information system, according to Selassie Mayunga, Surveys and Mapping Division Director in the ministry. Mayunga was addressing to media in Dar es Salaam, on the sidelines of a two-day Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) conference. He added that the idea was mooted and endorsed at a recent meeting of senior government officials that deliberated on a wide range of issues relating to land management and use.
Patrick Rutabanzibwa, Permanent Secretary in the Lands ministry, said when opening the conference that RCMRD was formed in 1975 by the governments of Tanzania and Kenya and is based in Nairobi. It concerns itself with the link between the environment and sustainable development, greenhouse gases inventory, pro-poor water availability, biosphere reserves and the establishment of modern GPS network. He explained that the centre has a TGS 3 billion annual budget and has attracted delegates from 18 Eastern and Southern Africa countries. It will focus on the need to train government officials in land use assessment and the taking satellite pictures.
“We as Tanzanians not only feel honoured to host this conference but are sure it will help to build research capacity and utilisation of resources for the development of our country,” he said, urging member states to pay their contributions to ensure progressive implementation of the centre’s plans.
Gabinddde Musoke, Permanent Secretary in Uganda’s of Lands, Housing and Urban Development ministry, meanwhile said they have long enacted and amended land laws aimed at containing land grabbing and protecting the people from needless evictions.
“We cannot say that we do not have land problems or disputes, but we are reducing their frequency and impact by making sure that the observance of the laws we have in place is closely monitored,” he added. His Kenyan counterpart, Dorothy Angote, reported that they have a “land policy” subsection in the national Constitution specifically aimed at better urban planning and seeking to forestall or amicably resolve land conflicts.
“It has been two years since the government came up with an idea in the Constitution that will ensure that no Kenyan citizen falls into conflicts because we know only too well how such a situation can affect society,” she noted.
RCMRD Director General Hussein Farah meanwhile said the centre is planning to conduct 35 training programmes lasting anything between two weeks and five months.