OXFAM establishes customary land committees

Written by  Allan Phetembe

With financial support from European Union –EU, One of the non-governmental Organizations working in the country is piloting a 4-year project on strengthening land governance systems for smallholder farmers in three districts of Rumphi, Kasungu and Phalombe.


According to the Andrew Mkandawire, Land Governance Programs Officer at OXFARM the project is aimed at empowering women and other marginalized members of the society to have ownership of the land through the implementation of customary Land Act.

“Due to the absence of a clear law ordinary people were unable to solve land disputes among themselves in accordance with the law, this is why government is piloting this project which seeks to see how best Malawi can manage discuss costmary land particularly to protect women and smallholder farmers across the country,”  He said.

“In 2016, government through parliament enacted the new Land law in an effort to ensure that local people, especially women are empowered on issues to do with customary land regulations and good land governance” Said Mkandawire.

Mkandawire explained that to ensure that cases of land are done properly at local level; the organization is establishing customary land committees in the districts where the project is piloted.  He disclosed that one of such districts is Phalombe where recently the organization elected a new committee.

Speaking during the function in Phalombe, Group Village headman Maoni hailed government for the enactment of the land law, saying it will among others safeguard and promote the welfare of his subjects.  

“These committees are vital in dealing with small customary land issues at village level and the same address some of the challenges currently we are facing” said , Group village headman Maoni .

Maoni said the new customary Land Act will among others strengthen administration systems with clear guidelines in land allocation, re-allocation and ownership. The project is being implemented by a consortium of three NGOs, OXFAM, CEPA and Land net. The project has started in 2015 and is expected to end in 2019.

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