Community-based monitoring of land acquisition: lessons from the Buseruka oil refinery, Uganda
The constitution and enabling legislation in Uganda, as in many other countries, empower the government to acquire land in the public interest. Under Ugandan law a person whose land is identified for a public purpose must be compensated fairly, promptly, and prior to the acquisition of the property. International best practices, such as the World Bank Principles on Involuntary Resettlement and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) Standards and the United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions and Displacement , substantiate protocols and safeguards that ensure development projects do not negatively affect communities. However, quite often, laws and best practices remain on paper only. Many individual landowners are poor, illiterate and marginalised; they are often ignorant about their basic rights, and lack the capacity and courage to speak out against injustice meted on them by development projects.
This paper has been produced under IIED’s Legal tools for citizen empowerment project.