“The success of Rwanda Land Reform Process is rooted in the successful partnership between the Government and the Civil Society since the start of the process in 1999”, proudly states Ms. Annie Kairaba, the Director of Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development (RISD). RISD is local Non-Government Organization and is the lead in land reform process in Rwanda, which has consistently engaged in the process since 1999 at the inception phase till now at implementation and monitoring phase.
The strength of RISD is her capacity to network and engage other civil society organizations as well as government institutions and donors. Since 1st March 2012, RISD in partnership with Collectif des Ligues et Associations de Défense des Droits de l’Homme” (CLADHO), is implementing a project on “Securing Land Rights” as a continued but unique civil society contribution to the sustainability of the Rwandan Land Reform Process. This is a three year project that is scheduled to end on the 28th February 2015.
Rwanda Land Reform is implemented through a government program known as the “Land Tenure Regularization Program” (LTRP). Hence, RISD project’s main objective is to contribute to the effective implementation of the LTRP towards poverty reduction and sustainable peace.
This objective will be achieved through the capability of Abunzi to document and resolve pending land related disputes as follow-up to the LTRP. The Project is implemented in 10 districts on a pilot basis during the first year of the project, 2012, and is scheduled to expand to a total of 15 districts during the year 2013, with a vision of covering all 30 Districts by end of the project in 2015.
The 10 project districts for 2012 are: Gasabo and Kicukiro (Kigali Province); Kirehe and Kayonza (Eastern Province); Musanze and Muhanga (Nothern Provice); Kamonyi and Nyaruguru (Southern Province); Rubavu and Karongi (Western Province). The 5 districts the project will expand to in 2013 are: Nyarugenge, Nyagatare, Gicumbi, Nyabihu, and Gisagara.
“If implemented as planned, I am convinced that, by the end of this project in 2015, land related pending cases will have reduced by between 75% - 80%”, asserts, Mr. Anastase Balinda, the Executive Secretary of the Mediators Secretariat in the Ministry of Justice.
Although RISD has implemented other land related programs, this particular project demonstrates an effective engagement of stakeholders. The project is implemented by civil society in partnership with the Natural Resource Authority Office and the MINIJUST, through the Mediators Secretariat; and is funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands with technical expertise contributions from Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Inter Church Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO).
“A Community with no disputes related to land is a strong indicator sustainable poverty reduction strategy and sustainable peace in the Country, and this is the biggest commitment of RISD contribution as we rebuild our nation”, states, the Right Rev. Bishop, Nathan Gasatura, the Chairperson of RISD’s Board of Directors.