The National Land Use Planning Commission (NLUPC) of Tanzania has issued a Government Notice (GN) to the public on the gazettement of 9 village land use plans. Lawyers' Environmental Action Team - LEAT, a non-governmental organization that advocates for environmental justice and sustainable development that facilitated the development of land use plans in Sumbawanga and Nkasi DC, Rukwa is grateful for the achievement. The notice, dated 31st October, 2022, informs LEAT about the submission of the 9 village land use plan for Nkasi and Sumbawanga districs of Rukwa, which was gazetted in the government notices No. 194 of year 2023 and 195 of 2023. The notice also states that the village land use plans for other areas are still in the process of gazettement and that LEAT will be notified once they are published.
The village land use plan is a document that outlines the current and future land use patterns, needs and priorities of a village, as well as the strategies and actions to achieve them. The plan is prepared by the village council in consultation with the villagers and other stakeholders, and approved by the NLUPC. The plan aims to promote sustainable land management, environmental conservation, social and economic development, and conflict resolution in the village.
LEAT is one of the organizations that works with the NLUPC under the USAID funded project titled "Usimamizi Endelevu wa Maliasili Activity" and the village councils to facilitate the preparation and implementation of the village land use plans. LEAT provides legal and technical assistance, capacity building, awareness raising, and advocacy on land rights and land use planning issues. LEAT also monitors and evaluates the impact and effectiveness of the village land use plans on the livelihoods and well-being of the villagers and the environment.
The government notice from the NLUPC is a recognition of the efforts and contributions of LEAT and the village councils in promoting and supporting the village land use planning process in Tanzania. It is also a reminder of the importance and urgency of completing and publishing the village land use plans for all the villages in the country, as they are vital for ensuring the sustainable and equitable use of land resources for the present and future generations.