Who we are

Land is the source of food for all living things. It is from the soil that all the food we eat comes from. This is why it is very important for this priceless God-given-gift to be accessible by all people in all communities.
As Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA), we stand as a voice of the voiceless to promote just land policies that favour all communities.

We actually believe that Land is Life and a person who has land has life

Who we are

The Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) was established in 1997 as a response to the government of Zambia’s land reform process of the 1990s. Today ZLA is a network of NGOs promoting fair land policies, laws and land administration which take into account the needs of the poor. ZLA is registered under the Societies Act (ORS/102/35/3177).

ZLA is governed based on a Constitution by a Board of Directors who meet quarterly and are made up of member organisations, DLAs, the Executive Director and an independent legal advisor. The Board of Directors formulate organisation policies, oversee implementation and guide strategy. ZLA holds an Annual General Meeting whose main function is to review and approve financial and narrative reports including the financial audits. Every two years, a General Assembly is convened which elects the Board of Directors. These meetings are attended by all members, DLAs, partners and donors.

ZLA operates through a national office (secretariat) in Lusaka, 7 national members who have an interest in land, 8 DLAs and other civil society partners. Each DLA has its own member network through which they implement their activities, and a management committee. In 2013, ZLA expanded into 2 new districts, Solwezi and Kafue where it now has offices.

Our Mission
The Land Alliance is a platform for collective action committed to promoting equitable access and secured ownership of land by the rural and urban poor, through lobbying and advocacy, networking, research and community partnership.

Our Vision
The vision of Zambia Land Alliance is “a Zambia in which the rural and urban poor have secured access, ownership and control and control of land for development.”

Our Values
The alliance believes in the following

  • Rural and urban poor participation
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Commitment
  • Self reliance
  • Equity and fairness
  • Justice and human dignity
  • Impartiality

Our Strategic objectives
ZLA’s goal is to contribute towards equitable access and ownership of land by poor and urban families.
The overall objectives are;

  • To lobby and advocate for policies, laws and administrative systems that are inclusive of the rural and urban poor’s needs most of whome depend on land for livelihood.
  • To conduct research on land related issues
  • To raise awareness on land rights, gender, HIV/AIDS and the environment
  • To network and collaborate with national, regional and international bodies to share experience on land issues on land issues

Our Activities
ZLA is spearheaded by a secretariate whose functions include;

  • Coordinating member and partner NGO’s land advocacy programmes
  • Raising awareness on land issues including gender, HIV/AIDS and environment
  • Gathering information on land dispossessions in Zambia and advocating for accountable and transparent land administration systems
  • Establishing and building capacity of district land alliances to advocate for pro-poor land issues at district level
  • Publishing land disputes and demanding land reforms in order to influence land policies, laws and administrative systems
  • Network with government, coorporating partners, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and the international community

What we don’t do
ZLA does not provide land to those who need it. Its role is to share information with the public and lobby and advocate for fair land laws, policies and administrative systems that take into account the interests of the poor. ZLA’s projects are carried out by member organisations in our areas of operation.

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Secured Land Access and Rights for All (SLARA) Project Launched in Samfya and Nchelenge Districts

July 19, 2016July 19, 2016
    Pic Slara     The Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) and Disability Rights Watch (DRW) with support from the Embassy of Finland of Lusaka  has launched the Secured Land Access and Rights for All (SLARA) project in Samfya and Nchelenge districts of Luapula Province. The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards secured access, ownership and control of land for 2,200 vulnerable households, particularly PWDs in Nchelenge and Samfya districts through enforcement of human rights and democratic processes in land administration for sustainable livelihoods and development by the end of 2018.      

Secured Land Access and Rights for All (SLARA) Project Launched in Samfya and Nchelenge Districts

July 19, 2016
Pic Slara   The Zambia Land Alliance and Disability Rights Watch with support from the Embassy of Finland has launched the Secured Land Access and Rights for All (SLARA) project in Samfya and Nchelenge districts of Luapula Province. The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards secured access, ownership and control of land for 2,200 vulnerable households, particularly PWDs in Nchelenge and Samfya districts through enforcement of human rights and democratic processes in land administration for sustainable livelihoods and development by the end of 2018.    


February 24, 2016February 24, 2016
Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) in partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) on Thursday October 29th 2015 launched a new project Land Access Network for Development (L.A.N.D) and Justice. The launch which took place at the Southern Sun Ridgeway Hotel in Lusaka saw a number of ZLA and VSO partners come to witness the event. The meeting was also graced by government officials from the Ministry of Gender, and the Ministry of Local Governance and Housing. The three year L.A.N.D. Justice Project will focus on improving land access in Luapula Province will be financed by the European Union (EU). The project will seek to secure access and ownership of land as well as access to justice, particularly for vulnerable groups such as women, children and people living with disabilities. Speaking during the event, Guest of Honour Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Mrs. Daisy Ngambi said in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s Information Specialist that empowering women with land is key to reducing poverty in the nation. She urged all stakeholders to work together in making sure that land administration systems are fair and do not disadvantage the poor and other vulnerable groups such as the youth and women. The LAND Justice project was also launched in the three operational districts of Mansa, Chembe and Chiengi.  

We need better implementation of laws to see women’s rights protected- ZLA ED

January 28, 2016January 28, 2016
DSC_4791   Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) has called on the government to expedite the process of adopting a new land policy based on principle of gender equality to enhance women’s access to lands. Speaking when making submissions to parliamentary committee on lands chaired by Kalomo central MP request Muntanga ZLA executive director Nsama Chikolwa says land related laws on Zambia are very old and that there is need for the,laws to be reviewed to reflect the current land management challenges and opportunities. Ms Chikolwe also says the rule of law needs to be strictly applied to bring to a stop political interference in land administration. She also says the careful consideration should be given to urban land management to promote women’s access to urban land and for sustainable development. Download full submission here: SUBMISSION TO THE COMMITTEE ON LANDS (Gender)

ZLA Launches New Project in Nchelenge and Samfya Districts.

August 31, 2015August 31, 2015
  ZLA in partnership with its member organisation, Disability Rights Watch (DRW) is implementing this project in Samfya and Nchelenge Districts of Luapula Province . Its objective is "to contribute towards secured access, ownership and control of land for vulnerable households particularly people with disabilities through enforcement of human rights in processes of land administration for sustainable livelihoods and development. The project is supported by the Finnish Embassy of Lusaka. ZLA will be working in the two Districts for the first time. Pic Slara  

Launch of the Zambia Land Alliance LATS Project in Nyimba.

August 19, 2015August 19, 2015

Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) has yet again extended its tentacles by re-opening the Nyimba District Land Alliance to implement the Land Access and Tenure Security (LATS) project to the happiness of the stakeholders in the district

[caption id="attachment_1440" align="alignleft" width="171"]Launch of the Land Access and Tenure Security in Nyimba District Launch of the Land Access and Tenure Security in Nyimba District[/caption]

The project which was introduced to the stakeholders on 28th July in Nyimba district will focus on advancing knowledge on land rights, the ability of communities to access justice, promoting gender equality with regards to women’s land rights and participation in land administration, promoting transparency and accountability in the land administration system, piloting initiatives that can contribute to securing customary tenure in Zambia, advocating for pro poor land policies and laws and improving learning and networking among civil society dealing with land related issues.

The project is being implemented in 4 districts Lufwanyama, Lusaka, Solwezi and Nyimba respectively.

Welcoming the move, Chief Ndake expressed gratitude adding that his subject stood to benefit from the project citing the remarkable results from the Traditional Land Holding Certificates (TLHCs) which ZLA introduced in the chiefdom 3 years ago.

Click to view LATS Project profile

The Testimony of the Customary Land Holders Certificate in Nyimba by chief Ndake

August 19, 2015

Chief Ndake of Ndake Chiefdom has said that the Traditional Land Holding Certificate (TLHCs) have reduced land disputes in his chiefdom and enhanced the protection of women land rights.

[caption id="attachment_1438" align="alignleft" width="150"]Chief Ndake (left) during the launch of the Land Access and Tenure Security (LATS) Project in Nyimba Chief Ndake (left) during the launch of the Land Access and Tenure Security (LATS) Project in Nyimba[/caption]

To that effect he has called upon Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) to advocate that the traditional leaders in the country embrace the TLHCs.

His Royal Highness chief Ndake explained that from the time that the TLHCs were introduced in his chiefdom, the number of land disputes had gone down because the certificates helped to provided evidence on the ownership of land and beacons are set on the ground to showing boundaries.

He added that women especially widows in his chiefdom now enjoy their land rights because they are protected even if their spouse dies, the TLHC protects them as the next of kin

“Cases of people fighting over land in my area has reduced because the TLHCs comes with it the setting of boundaries for each piece of land, and no woman will lose land because her husband has died because their details are entered on the certificate” explained the chief.

He further said that it would be a good practice that other chiefs and traditional leader can buy into even though the certificates are not at the same level as a title deed, they provided some form of security under customary tenure adding that even financial lending institutions such as Barclays and Natsave banks now wanted to work with his subjects because they have seen that they own land.


July 15, 2015July 15, 2015
Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) Chairperson Mr. Eugene Kabilika has called on the church to join the advocacy campaign to promote land rights for especially poor Zambians. Speaking during a meeting between ZLA and two church mother bodies- Zambia Episcopal Conference and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia on May 7, Mr. Kabilika said the church has a responsibility of ensuring that people’s rights are protected because land issues are issues that affect everyone. ZLA Executive Director Mrs. Nsama Nsemiwe Chikolwa said the country’s land administration system is in desperate need of a policy to protect people on their land. “If we do not tackle the issue of land, we deepen the poverty levels of already poor people who depend on land for their livelihood. Land tenure insecurity brings about displacements for local communities often with inadequate or no compensation” Mrs. Chikolwa said. Mrs Chikolwa added that a land policy is a cardinal document as it will be able to provide guidelines on issues such as compensation for example in the event that displacement of people is inevitable. In response to the call, ZEC Secretary General Father Cleophas Lungu said it was indeed important for stakeholders to join hands in advocating for policy measures that will protect the land rights of Zambians.  Father Lungu said the current situation of land administration in the country is full of injustices especially against the poor, and as such measures need to be drawn up and put in place as a matter of urgency in order to ensure sanity in the way land is administered in the country. “There is a lot of injustice and disorder surrounding land administration in the country; it is therefore incumbent upon the church and other stakeholders to work together in advocating for laws and policies that will help curb the illegalities and injustices in the land administration system in the country” Father Lungu said.  


July 15, 2015
[caption id="attachment_1421" align="alignleft" width="150"]Gwembe District MP, Honourable Brian Ndundu, posing for a picture after the meeting. Gwembe District MP, Honourable Brian Ndundu, posing for a picture after the meeting.[/caption] Member of Parliament for Gwembe Honourable Brian Ndundu says the Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA)’s Enhancing Sustainable Livelihoods through Land Tenure Security (SULTS) project has come at a good time to help empower the underprivileged on how they will be able to protect their land. Mr. Ndundu was speaking during a dialogue meeting between government officials and community based organisations organised by the SULTS project to enable stakeholders discuss ways of promoting land tenure security in the district. “I am happy that ZLA is working in Gwembe to supplement Government efforts in helping the vulnerable communities attain land tenure security.  As area member of parliament, I support this project and urge Land Alliance to pay special attention to women because in Gwembe this category of people have fallen victims of land grabbing,” he said. Speaking during the same meeting Gwembe District Commissioner Mrs. Alice Mwiinga said it is policy of the government to harmonize disputes between customary and state land. “I would like to urge Gwembe council to work with the community and all the other stakeholders to ensure that both the interests of the local people and the state are taken care of in all these land issues.  From this good cooperation that I have seen in this meeting among all the departments, l am convinced that we shall work towards reducing poverty among the people who are vulnerable through Land tenure security,” she said. The ZLA SULTS project is a European Union and Danish Church Aid funded project that aims to contribute to sustaining the livelihoods of 1,600 households in Gwembe district by enhancing land tenure security of the target families. The three year project is also being implemented in Solwezi and Monze districts.


July 15, 2015
Random street interviews conducted by ZLA revealed that many residents feel there is not enough education on land rights and responsibilities, a situation they credited as the cause of high levels of corruption in areas such as land allocation. “Honestly speaking as a young person, I have no idea; I don’t know where I should start from if I decide to acquire land today. There is need for more information; the Ministry of Lands should educate the public on some of these issues” Sheila a University of Zambia student. Mr. Sitali a Lusaka resident said he is aware that every Zambian has the right to land but is rather saddened that not everyone is able to access land. “Only the rich get land in Zambia, there is really no chance for people without money. That is why people end up going to political party cadres hoping that it will be faster and cheaper, but they end up being cheated as well” he said. However Mrs. Ired Zulu feels that people are aware of the correct procedures of acquiring land but bemoaned the long process of application. “People know, we know, it is the corrupt system that makes people to use short cuts” She claimed. “I can start the application quite alright but next time I go, my file will be missing or the land which was on offer is suddenly unavailable unless you produce a ‘brown envelop’.  We need to clean up the system if we want to talk about land rights” she said. Alice Chanda a resident of Chipata Compound in Lusaka said the Zambian government must consider the plight of the poor when it comes to issues of access to land; and Esnart Lungu of the same area said it sad to note that non Zambians are given priority over Zambians when it comes to land allocation. “ Government must first look at its own people, many Zambians are already poor, if we lose our land where are we going to go? Are we going back to colonial era?” she questioned.
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