Learning Route on Securing Land and Water Rights – an insider's perspective

By Daniel Simango, Land Tenure Advisor for the Pro-poor Value Chain Development Project (PROSUL), implemented in Mozambique

From 6 to 16 March 2017, I participated in the Learning Route on Securing Land and Water Rights in Senegal and Mauritania, a training organized by the Procasur team in partnership with IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale), and promoted by IFAD.

Discussion during the plenary work session
The event had the objective of sharing experiences among specialists from IFAD-funded projects in relation to land tenure and water rights in irrigated land through innovative tools and practical solutions. Fifteen nationalities participated in this Learning Route: Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

During this experience I was able to understand that the people had a strong solidarity. This started for example during meal time, as people share the same plate with many others. The solidarity principle is well associated with justice and trust. It was also an opportunity to discover different cultural habits, ways of eating, dressing and much more.

Another interesting element that I had the chance to learn during the workshop regarded the creation and adoption of Land Occupation and Use Plans in the community of Diama, which entailed the engagement of the Municipal council in its operationalization. This aspect, in the context of PROSUL, could be adopted and adapted to the Action Plans for the mapping and cadastral surveying of the rehabilitated irrigation schemes of the project, so that all producers can see their rights ensured, as in parallel there would be the creation of an alphanumerical and spatial database with details for each surveyed plot. This would contribute to the reduction of conflicts related to land and water management.

Sharing my experience with the PROSUL project, specifically in the realm of land tenure. ©D.Simango
I was also able to learn that the construction of dams along the Senegal river drastically changed the relations in the “Fulani” tribal pastoralists (Mauritania) and the “soninque and wolofs” tribal farmers (Senegal). Historically, Mauritanians of the moor group are traders, with strong decisional power. The measures adopted by the moor in the management of water sources accelerated the degradation of relations amongst pastoralists and farmers, which culminated in the war between the two countries (Senegal and Mauritania) in 1989. The Mauritanian farmers have since had more difficulties in developing irrigated agriculture schemes in virtue of the insufficient water, coupled with the ruining of the water infrastructure. For this reason the Senegalese wolof have been contributing to their food security, exporting agricultural products to Mauritania.
This is the moment in which I presented my Innovation Plan, with reference to the three sites visited. I would like to engage in implementing cadastral mapping in our irrigation schemes in PROSUL, including the zoning of adjacent areas. This would help the producers to better manage both water and land, and furthermore in the payment of taxes related to their water and energy usage. © D. Simango
This is the moment in which I presented my Innovation Plan,
with reference to the three sites visited. I would like to
engage in implementing cadastral mapping in our irrigation
schemes in PROSUL, including the zoning of adjacent areas.
This would help the producers to better manage both water
and land, and furthermore in the payment of taxes related
to their water and energy usage. ©D.Simango

During the Learning Route I was also able to know more about the current state of other IFAD-financed project, such as the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), implemented in Nigeria; and the Programme for Rural Irrigation Development (PRIDE), implemented in Malawi. I was particularly interested in the latter, first as Malawi is a neighbouring country for Mozambique and has some climatic similarities with some regions in our country. This project has the objective of strengthening the communities’ management of land and water. Likewise, PROSUL has the strategic goal of guaranteeing the tenure security of its beneficiaries, by supporting the issuing of Land Certificates (Direito de Usos e Aproveitamento da Terra - DUAT).

Thematic group discussion between Mozambique and Niger,
facilitated by Elisa Mandelli
I had the opportunity to share my experience in the PROSUL project, specifically in the domain of land. The participants were very impressed with PROSUL’s approach in the issuing of DUATs to the project beneficiaries in the three value chains: horticulture, cassava and red meat, including the contribution of DUATs in the mobilization of producers to participate in the producer groups and associations.

During the Learning Route we visited three specific cases. The first was related to the Land Occupation and Use Plans in Diama. Then we visited the case of Maghama, where we saw the mechanisms related to the management of water and land, and last but not least the PRODAM II project case in Senegal related to land regulations and hydro-agricultural development systems.

Daniel Simango, Mozambique representative was chosen to be
part of the panel handing out the Certificates to the Matam Association
Of the three cases visited I particularly think that the lessons of the first case related to Diama would be a good adoption for the area in Mozambique where I work. I am aware that this approach may face challenges in ensuring that all the Government entities at district and central level (i.e. District Services of Economic Affairs (SDAE) and National Irrigation Institute (INIR) understand and actively contribute to the adoption and implementation of the "Land Occupation and Use Plans" instrument. This type of plan, in the context of the PROSUL project, could be called "Water and Land Use and Management Plan in irrigated perimeters". In the same line, we will create a database for each irrigation scheme, with detailed information for each producer’s plot, with maps available in each Association, open to the consultation and knowledge of all individuals. This plan will contribute to reducing land conflicts and will allow all water users to contribute to a correct utilization of the resource, including the maintenance of the infrastructure.


Read more about PROSUL:

Portuguese version

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