Integrating informal land delivery systems into urban land use planning: a case study of Mbale Municipality, Namatala Ward

David Jenkins, Catherine Gateri, B Nawangwe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper provides a discussion of informal systems of land delivery in Uganda with reference to a case study in Namatala Ward, the largest slum in Mbale. Such informal settlements are the main channel of housing land supply, a response to the failure of the government’s policies on urban land and the inability of the private sector to provide land for housing the poor. Informal land delivery systems have both strengths and weaknesses. Their strengths include their ability to provide land in significant volumes to meet the housing needs of various socio-economic groups. Weaknesses of informal delivery systems include the inappropriate locations in which settlements are located, the poor layouts that sometimes emerge and the almost universal infrastructure and service deficiencies. The paper looks at the informal land delivery system in one informal settlement in Mbale and how the municipal council is integrating it into its urban land use planning programmes through regularization i.e. formalizing the informal settlements by registration and issuance of title documents. A unique aspect of the delivery system is the use of the local administration system in land transactions. The paper examines the land transactions at the grassroots and the way security of tenure is guaranteed through this system. This particular slum settlement has no records in the lands office but there exists a vibrant land market. The local authority comes in to provide roads but through negotiations with the land owners because the local authority has got no control over the land although it has planning authority.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2009
Event RICS COBRA Conference 2009 - University of Cape Town
Duration: 11 Sept 200911 Sept 2009


Conference RICS COBRA Conference 2009


  • land
  • planning
  • uganda


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