Puntland, Somalia, July 2020- Puntland parliament approved the Urban Land Management Law which will for the first time establish clear guidelines on the governance, and management of urban land. The law, drawn up with the support of UN-Habitat, will be the principle leading piece of legislation on urban land matters and urban regulatory frameworks.

This law covers areas such as land rights, access to public spaces, land allocation and land use planning methods, land value capture, land dispute mechanisms and clarification of institutional responsibilities of district and state authorities. The law also promotes orderly, guided and controlled urban growth, advocates access to public spaces, housing and improved land rights and tenure and the preservation of natural resources.

“Since the formation of Puntland in 1998, the management of urban land has been the biggest burden for state and district authorities. The Ministry will therefore support  and enforce this law by setting land management systems, support the capacity of relevant authorities at district and state level, development and implementation of urban master plans and formulation of Land policy” Abdulkadir Sheikh Mohamoud, Director General of Puntland’s Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Transport.

UN- Habitat supported the formulation of the law through the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG). It has also supported urban master plans, city extension plans, the reconstruction of local and state buildings, land conflict resolution mechanisms, the establishment of a planning unit at the Ministry and capacity building for local and state authorities to handle urban development issues.

The process of developing the legislation involved inter-ministerial committees, district mayors representing local governments, civil society members, professional associations and university students.

Land disputes and conflict is a major challenge in Somalia especially between the internally displaced, returnees and host communities.