Stories from Program: Land

April 17, 2019

A Herder, a Paralegal, a Protector of the Commons – Francis’ Story

by Namati in

Francis first heard the news in late 2017: The village leaders responsible for managing Kuku B’s community land were reportedly holding secret meetings with private investors. This is all too common in Kenya, he knew what would come next: the leaders would sub-divide, privatize, and sell off parcels of the community’s land, leaving him and…

April 16, 2019

From a Land Grab to a Fair Deal – A Story from Masimra Town

by Namati in

Political power often enables corporate abuse. The Masimra community in Port Loko District, Sierra Leone can, unfortunately, attest to this after politicians elected by them to protect their interests instead opened them up to exploitation. In 2009, the then Deputy Minister of Trade and the Chairman of Port Loko District Council ushered the Dutch-owned agricultural…

April 16, 2019

The Council and the Coal Giant – Aslam’s Story

by Namati in ,

This is a story of how, with the power of law, a small village collectively challenged a multi-billion dollar conglomerate to restore environmental justice for its people. And won. The residents of Nana Mandha village in Gujarat State are primarily farmers, herders, and shepherds of modest means. Situated near India’s western coast, the small, sleepy…

April 15, 2019

From Witness to Problem Solver – U Win Naing Htay’s Journey

by Namati in

In 1980, during the midst of military rule in Myanmar, the Ministry of Electricity and Energy seized 920 acres of farmland in Bago Region to build a fertilizer plant. The land belonged to over 100 families. The Ministry gave them no warning and no compensation. And when it did not use 297 of the acres…

May 9, 2018

Desperate to Leave: Foinda Community Takes Action Against Mining Company

by Namati in ,

“Our situation has worsened, our only water source is destroyed, and our farm lands have been turned into a mining field. We cannot sleep due to heavy noise and vibrations. Our roads have been diverted. …Our livelihood is threatened by the operations of Sierra Rutile mining company.” — Mr. Massaquoi, 52, Foinda community.  Foinda is a…

May 8, 2018

Shifting Power: Female Farmer in Myanmar Secures the Release of Land Grabbed by the Military

by Namati in Crops grow in rows on farm in Myanmar

  Fifty-year-old Daw Nan Shan is a widow, a mother, a grandmother and a farmer. For 28 years she has supported her family by growing and selling vegetables in the village of Wan Wai in Eastern-Shan State, Myanmar. The land she farms has been in her family for generations and is registered in her name….

May 8, 2018

Ugandan Community Stops Illegal Sale of their Land

by Namati in

In 2016, officials from the Amolatar district in Northern Uganda approached Okello Alex* with an offer. They wanted to buy land from him for a prison farm. Okello agreed. But there was an issue: it was not his land to sell. The land belonged to Alemere community—a fact that both Okello and the officials knew…

March 7, 2017

Fighting Land Grabs in Myanmar: Daw Mya’s Story

by Namati in

For decades, the Burmese military seized land across Myanmar. In Eastern Shan province, they took Daw Mya’s land to plant teak trees for their private profit. Daw Mya tried to fight the land grab, submitting complaint letters to old parliament members and political parties, but she found her case ignored. The government began to address…

May 18, 2016

When Legal Empowerment Meets Community Mapping

by Marena Brinkhurst in

Namati and the Kenya Land Alliance test new tools for participatory community mapping in Tana River, Kenya.

February 12, 2016

Rediscovering Community: The Dwesa-Cwebe Community, South Africa

by Wilmien Wicomb in

The following case study is an extract from Protecting Community Lands and Resources in Africa, a book of case studies that highlights land rights advocates’ innovative community land protection efforts. By Wilmien Wicomb, Legal Resources Centre (LRC) The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) is a public interest law firm based in South Africa. It uses the law as an…