Land in Zambia is divided into two tenure categories designated as state and customary land. Customary land covers 90 percent of the country while 10% is state land under leasehold. Documentation of land rights is a major challenge in land administration and management especially for customary land that is controlled by traditional authorities (Chiefs) and administered according to local customs. To improve security of tenure for his people, His Royal Highness Chief Chamuka VI, working closely with People’s Process on Housing and Poverty reduction in Zambia (PPHPZ) carried out a community lead mapping and enumeration process through the application of a Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) with the support of UN-Habitat and GLTN.

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Chief Chamuka - Beneficiary image

“My chiefdom is situated between two cities of Lusaka and Kabwe. As they are rapidly expanding they will find that my people have already secured the land.”

Chief_Chamuka,His Royal Highness Chief Chamuka VI of the Lenje people, Central Zambia

70
men, women and youth trained in participatory mapping and enumeration using STDM
528
customary certificates issued in 11 villages with a population of 3584 people
Of the total population, 52% female and 48 % male

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Leaving no one and no place behind

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The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

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52% of the population is female, while 42 % are male but the male dominates the ownership and control of the land. However, with the help of the land documentation, the Chief is keen and has started addressing the gender issues regarding security of tenure in his Chiefdom.

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Chief Chamuka has taken interest in ensuring that women, children, youth and elderly have the security of tenure for their land parcels, as a result, reduced disputes, land grabbing and evictions that most affected them.        

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Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

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Donors and partners

The success of the support to customary certification in chief Chamuka area is dependent on the strongly partnership with the Government Ministry responsible for land, civil society and the traditional leadership - the chief. UN-Habitat working closely with the partners engaged communities to take action towards land tenure security in their local area using STDM and gathered sufficient evidence that could inform land policy and legislation in Zambia as regards customary land rights documentation.

Our Experts

Alexander Chileshe
National Technical Advisor
WUF 10