Afrika Safeguards Consult Ltd conducted a training on Land Acquisition, Involuntary Resettlement and Social Sustainability on Infrastructure Projects, that ran from 5th to 9th December 2022. The training aimed at enhancing knowledge on the process of land acquisition in Uganda, equipping participants with knowledge on the impacts of land acquisition, land use restriction and involuntary resettlement on project affected persons(PAPs) and communities.

Participants were empowered with hands on skills on resettlement action planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as equipping them with skills to effectively and efficiently manage grievances and complaints from community members, using well-documented systems.

Training participants on the application of international standards and best practices in land acquisition and resettlement was also done on top of enabling participants share experiences on the challenges and best practices and lessons learnt in land acquisition and resettlement.

Areas covered during the training included policy, legal and institutional framework on land acquisition processes in Uganda, social risks and impacts associated with land acquisition and resettlement, as well as resettlement action planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Grievance management, livelihood restoration, development options and sustainability of resettlement programmes was also taught.

International standards, policies and frameworks on land acquisition and resettlement, occupational safety and health, with an aim of creating knowledge on the rights of workers to a healthy and safe occupational environment was among the areas covered. 

At the conclusion of the training, participants had obtained knowledge on the policy, legal and institutional framework governing land acquisition in Uganda, skills in undertaking meaningful stakeholder consultation, social risk and impact assessment, including special measures to protect vulnerable groups (women, children, elderly).

Participants also acquired practical skills on resettlement action planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, in addition to enhanced skills to effectively and efficiently manage grievances and enhanced knowledge on the application of international standards and land acquisition and resettlement.

According to the Managing Director, Afrika Safeguards Consult, Ms. Scovia Nakawuma, it is important to follow good pactices to ensure a sustainable land acquisition process such as timely establishment of cut off dates, spousal consent, meaningful stakeholder engagement and maintenance of community safety nets in resettlement. She added that Projects should plan and budget for provision of legal support for vulnerable Project Affected Persons to enable them process letters of administration and other legal services. It is important to always deal with someone who has letters of administration in case of deceased’s property. The MD recommended that land agreements between PAPs and Government should always have a certificate of translation. Protection of vulnerable groups such as women, child headed households and the elderly, financial literacy for PAPs should always be an integral part of all land acquisition programmes as well as provision of alternative income streams.

Afrika Safeguards Consult was formed with the aim of partnering with individuals, institutions, and Communities to provide quality and innovative consultancy services in environmental and social safeguards management.  The company supports its clients improve their environment and social performance through monitoring the implementation of their environmental and social management plans, resettlement action plans, bio diversity offset plans and stakeholder engagement plans.

Capacity development solutions are also offered virtually, in-house, through classrooms and workshop sessions.  Additionally, Afrika Safeguards Consult also offers forestry extension services through forest planning, plantation establishment and forest stand management. 

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