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Zambia Land Alliance was established in 1997 as a response to the Zambian government’s land reform process, which was initiated in the 1990s. Zambia Land Alliance is a network of NGOs promoting fair land policies, laws and land administration, which take into account the needs of the poor. ZLA’s mission is to be a platform for collective action committed to promoting equitable access and secured ownership of land by the rural poor, through lobbying and advocacy, networking, research and community partnership.  ZLA is a membership organization, and operates through a National Secretariat, national member organizations, district Branches[1] and project offices.

[1] Also Known as District Land Alliances

Zambia Land Alliance recognizes that land is a critical resource for human survival in terms of social and economic development. Most importantly, land is the major source of people’s livelihoods, which must be used wisely for sustained social and economic returns. As such, there is a wide recognition that access, control and ownership of land constitutes one of the most effective ways of empowering communities to sustain their livelihoods. It has also been noted that when people have a sense of ownership of their land, they will be able to take good care of the land and its associated natural resources. However, the majority of Zambians does not enjoy land tenure security and face various challenges including inadequate and unenforced legal and policy provisions, low levels of participation and transparency in land administration as well as negative cultural traditions.

Zambia Land Alliance was able to reduce of the cost of activity implementation through collaboration with other organisations and building the capacity of community members to support others such as CLACs and Saving group Masters Trainers. The efficiency and sustainability of the ZLA activities were also enhanced through the formation and support of community structures such as saving groups, Study Circles and Community Based Natural Resource Management Committees (CBNRMCs).  In particular, the following noted results were noted:

  • There was an enhancement of Women’s land rights. In spite of customary land being predominately owned by men, 31%[1] Customary Landholding Certificates (CLHCs) were issued to women. Additionally, 381 women acquired land during the period 2018 to 2021.
  • There was a significant reduction of boundary and inheritance disputes among recipients of CLHCs. This is because the land boundaries and ownership were more defined after the verification of boundaries with neighboring land plots and validation of ownership from relatives. Recipients of CLHCs were knowledgeable of the land boundaries, size of land owned and the interested parties to their land.
  • As a result of the increased recognition of CLHCs by service providers, community members could use these as proof of residence in opening of bank accounts and in the connection of electricity by the Rural Electrification project.
  • The advocacy activities during the National Land Policy(NLP) formulation process yielded some positive results as some of the CSO recommendations were adopted on the policy that was launched by government this year.
  • The saving group concept contributed to enhancing the saving ability of the target community members who have limited or no access to formal financial systems. Therefore, the saving groups nurtured the saving culture among communities, especially women who constituted over 80% of the saving groups. Additionally, the 78 groups that were in existence in districts [2]had  saved  a total of ZMW871,480 at the time of evaluation.
  • The saving group concept has also contributed to building the community resilience. Group members had access to affordable loans to start and grow other non- farming businesses. baking, poultry rearing, selling clothes and groceries. Saving group members were able to pay for their e- vouchers which enabled them to acquire government farming inputs.

By June 2021, 4943 females and 11353 male customary land holders had received CLHCs from their chiefs. Chisamba, Gwembe, Lufwanyama, Monze, Nyimba and Solwezi.