On the occasion of a supervisory mission carried out in Matongo by the World Bank in Burundi on the 20th of February 2023 to visit various achievements by the Burundi Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project (PRRPB) under the Global Environment Facility (GEF), The Commune organised ceremonies to hand over the first land certificates produced at the end of the ‘Grouped Operations’ for Recognition (OGR) carried out by the IGN FI- GEOFIT- LADEC consortium in the localities of Bwisange, Mpemba, Nyakibingo and Matongo. Signed Certificates were distributed to the owners from these 4 ‘collines’ during these ceremonies.
The Governor of the Province greatly appreciates the support of the World Bank and the project to Matongo Commune and congratulates the IGN FI- GEOFIT-LADEC consortium for this great work of systematic land certification from which 7,655 land certificates were produced over the entire area that was covered by certification system.
Women at the centre of land certification
Securing women’s land rights has been emphasised in the land certification process supported by the project. 65% of the land certificates produced bear the names of women alone or with their spouses. This is so important for it promotes gender equality, ensuring the protection of households and preventing land conflicts involving women, in a cultural context that tends to discriminate against them when it comes to access to land.
Before handing over the land certificates, the Managing Director of LADEC took time to explain this innovation introduced by the ‘PRRPB’ in land certification as well as the importance of these land certificates. The mention of the names of wives on the land certificates (alone or jointly with their husbands) is indeed innovative in this for it enhances the value of Burundian women who, feeling reassured, invest more in certified lands.
When your land is certified, you are surely a graduate
“Keep your certificate well, and make good use of it. This document is very expensive to have and requires a rigorous and expensive process. I know this because I too got my land certified… you can consider yourselves graduates and these certificates are indeed diplomas at your disposal.”
This was the advice of the provincial governor before the distribution of the certificates to the beneficiaries from the 4 OGRs local Areas.
The communal and provincial administration expressed their strong wish to see the land certification component of the project go on and asked the PRRPB and the World Bank, if possible, to extend these activities to other ‘collines’ of the commune, and even to more communes of the province. This was expressed following the satisfaction shown by the beneficiaries of the land certificates in this commune and the importance attached to them (the land certificates will also contribute to the socio-economic development of households).
Women beneficiaries of these services also expressed their joy: “Now I can sleep in peace because I know that even if something bad happens and my husband is no longer with us, I can still continue to exploit our land property without fear of being evicted or mistreated, my right is secure,” said one of the women, holding a certificate.
In her speech, the World Bank Representative in Burundi also expressed her great satisfaction with the sustainable impact of the land certification component for the beneficiary populations.
OGRs, an effective mechanism for land conflicts management and social cohesion
The ‘OGRs’ contribute to management of land conflicts through mediation by recognition commissions during land surveys. It goes without saying that with the production of such a large numb of certificates on only 4 ‘Collines’ (7,655 CF) thanks to the OGRs, land conflicts will be considerably reduced, giving way to good social cohesion and peace building in the beneficiary communities.
In addition to handing over of the land certificates, the World Bank Mission, together with all the implementing partners of the Project, including https://ladec.bi, visited other achievements of the project which covers a total of 9 ‘collines’ in #Matongo, @KayanzaProvince. While LADEC-IGN FI-GEOFIT is involved in the land certification component, the other partners are involved in many other areas contributing to the protection of the environment and the socio-economic development of the various communities, including the Batwa, with the main aim to improve their living conditions.