Sticks, Stones, Knives and Land Disputes

Good afternoon. Here are the latest land stories…

It’s a land scarcity, not water scarcity.

New Delhi, India — the loss of farmland is cited as one reason why protesters from the Jat community are demanding government jobs and hiring quotas, according to a BBC report. The report quotes a protestor, “We are farmers,” Sukhram Dhankar says. “But there is no land left for us to farm. It’s taken over by developers. So we need government jobs.”

Elsewhere in India, a mob of 60 people charged onto land owned by a pharma and pelted the security guards with stones. The mob and their leader, Hiral Patel, allege the pharma company’s boundary wall encroaches on his plot of land.

Insecure land titles are a ‘recipe for chaos.’

In Kenya, slum dwellers are erecting new structures on Kenya Railway Lands barely one month after being run off the land. This land dispute involves the Kenya Railway, industrialists and the informal settlers who allegedly have the backing of local politicians.

Family feud over land leads to murder, again.

Singair Upazila, Bangladesh — I’m struck by the number of killings in Bangladesh that are related to intrafamilial land disputes. As far as I know, there are no data or statistics tracking this type of land-violence in Bangladesh. The latest family feud over land resulted in the two family members hacked to death with sharp weapons, with one person hospitalized with severe slash injuries.

Tanzania’s land reallocation experiment

Tanzania’s The Citizen newspaper posted an Op-Ed in support of the government’s upcoming audit of land for the purpose of reallocating unused land for investors and spurring economic growth. Tanzania has a history of land disputes involving farmers, pastoralists and investors, including foreign investors. This $15.2 three-year audit called the Land Tenure Support Programme (LTSP) is supported by Denmark, Sweden and the UK.

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