Mr. Kato Yakobo, 85, could not recall when he last greeted let alone talked to his young brother Sefatiya. The two elderly brothers who are both residents of Buraru village, Kyabigambire Sub County in Hoima District have been embroiled in a long running land dispute which has left their families bitterly divided.
Kato participated in a community dialogue on 12th Dec 2015, which was organized by Child Rights Empowerment and Development Organization (CEDO), operating under a grant from SAFE, in the neighbouring village of Kibingo. The information availed during the dialogue encouraged him to invite a Community Legal Volunteer (CLV) trained by CEDO in partnership with USAID SAFE and request for mediation. He had this to say:
“This dispute has torn our family apart to the extent that our two families do not see eye to eye”.
Mr Yakobo shared his complaint with the CLV in the area soon after the community event and further invited him at his home for more discussion with the family.
‘…I expected the CLV to advise me on the court procedure, but I was shocked when he told me this is a small issue that could be sorted amicably. I could not believe him since the family had over the years tried to settle the matter without success. He promised to link me to the ALC at the sub county and to organize a reconciliation meeting with my brother. He told me the merits of waiting for the court case to be decided and the advantages of the ADR. I am very grateful that we finally came together and the dispute was resolved amicably. Even if I died today, I will leave my family in peace. We have been able to revamp our relationship with my brother; we have opened the land boundaries and planted demarcation trees in the presence of the local leaders and sub county ALC. This is a great achievement for me at my age.”
Mr Yakobo appreciates the support of the CLV who guided the two brothers on the process of registering their lands. He says both he and his brother have received the land registration forms and would soon submit them to kick start the process.
CEDO in partnership with USAID SAFE has been able to train Community Legal Volunteers who have in turn been able to inform and educate the communities about their land rights and thus empowering them into taking appropriate actions, which has led to the realisation of the SAFE program’s objectives: Supporting access to justice and fostering equity and peace.