Socioeconomic Benefits of Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy Case of Ilalasimba Village, Iringa District - Tanzania

Tryphon Gallus Mbawala, Wang Yihuan


Ilalasimba village of Iringa district in Tanzania was the site of this study. It assessed the socioeconomic benefits accrued to the residents of the village after having issued with the Certificates of Customary Rights of Occupancy (CCROs), which are legally certified evidence of customary land ownership. The study was largely qualitative in nature but with some amount of quantitative data which were collected parallel to the qualitative information. Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data. Households with CCROs in the village constituted the target population of the study, from which a representative sample of 60 household respondents was systematically chosen.Despite overemphasis of the use of CCROs as collateral in accessing loans from various financial institutions which is done by some development partners who facilitate land use planning processes in the rural areas, CCROs also generate some other benefits. They enable owners in precisely knowing boundaries of the land possessed because the land parcels are mapped and geo-referenced; they are tools for area protection to avoid its loss without recompense; eliminate land use conflicts with others; improve security of land; restore lost respect from others of the land area possessed and enable owners to have good land maps of the area after specifications of the land boundaries shown clearly. Moreover, these certificates allow some owners engage in some land transactions on commercial agreements. However, rural areas in Tanzania still lag behind in terms of connections to various means of communication such as road facilities, railways, electricity, internet connections and mobile phones applications. Most of the rural areas also possess poor market infrastructures, inadequate water, hygiene, sanitation and health services as well as poor developed recreation facilities. Absence of these basic necessities make value of land in the rural areas to be low and become unattractive for investments projects in various sectors of the economy which could alternatively be pursued with rural people as joint partners who own land which is potential resource without which investments projects remain meaningless. The government is hereby called upon to speed up the supply of basic services in rural areas so as to make them better places to live and to invest, and equally important, uplift the value of the rural land which will in turn make CCROs more beneficial to all those owning them.

Keywords: Socioeconomic benefits, Customary Rights, Occupancy, CCROs, Land ownership, Rural areas

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