“Since my husband died, I have lived in the fear of land grabbing, which of late is very rampant in our area with the majority of victims being women”, says Akumu of Amuru District, Uganda.
Land grabbing became Akuma’s reality in December 2016, after she found one of her neighbours ploughing her four acre garden. She attempted to stop him, yet he continued to plough her land for days, which turned into months. Local chiefs were notified, and the matter was referred to the council of elders in charge of the land.
To stop local human rights violations like this, ActionAid Australia partnered with ActionAid Uganda to support women like Akumu, to increase their understanding of their rights on issues such as land grabbing. As a result, Akumu was connected with a local paralegal in order to seek mediation.
“It was not an easy road for mediation to me since my neighbour was very rude and five consecutive meetings were held in an attempt to secure my land.”
Akumu’s land was later returned to her, and demarcated to prevent any future disputes. She felt the mediation was better than reporting the matter to the police, as it took a short time for her to get back her land.