Community members in Kiteto District emphasized the need for training OLENGAPA leaders in mainstreaming gender issues in village land use planning and hastening of the process of upscaling joint village land use planning into the newly proposed clusters.
These views were shared after a learning visit to the OLENGAPA grazing area which was organized by the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project (SRMP) and the KINNAPA development program on 14 March 2018.
The joint village land use planning process to protect grazing lands in Kiteto began in November 2013 when three villages which share boundaries and grazing resources: Lerug, Ngapapa, and Orkitkit, created the ‘OLENGAPA’ incorporating parts of each village’s name. In 2017, the OLENGAPA grazing area was expanded to more than 30,000 hectares by adding a fourth village, Engongwangare.
This visit aimed to make community members
- aware of potential risks and means of mitigation during joint village land use planning;
- create friendship and solidarity among communities especially to respect and protect land use plans in their respective and neighboring villages;
- train communities on how to mainstream gender issues in the process of land use planning and land rights.
More than 165 people (44 women) participated which helped the SRMP draw key lessons from the visit including:
- Community members have a better understanding of the works of the project, and their earlier belief that the project would take all land available to promote it into grazing land has changed.
- Pastoralists are more aware of the importance of investing in rangelands especially bush clearing and planting pastures for their livestock, however, they still lack technical skills in rangeland management and sustainable livestock keeping.
- Encroachment from large farming investors has convinced Kiteto pastoralists, and they are now aware that the joint village land use planning is crucial to secure grazing lands.
Reflecting upon the learning visit, some community members said:
‘This visit has completely changed my understanding of land use planning in the village. I now understand that every community member has a responsibility in land use planing and implementation. I will participate fully in land use planning activities and share my experience from this learning tour with my neighbours and relatives,’ said Maria Moses.
‘I have seen that the joint village land use plan helps secure and protect grazing lands. It will guide us when moving our animals from one village to another so that we don’t cross farming lands which will reduce conflict with farmers,’ said Tanda Kiondo.
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