Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA)

Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA) is a loose coalition of 7 Civil Society Organizations namely Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (LARRRI/HAKIARDHI) which serves as secretariat, Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), Lawyers Environmental Action Team (LEAT), Pastoralists Indigenous NGOs Forum (PINGOs Forum), Women Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), Ujamaa Community Resource Team (U-CRT) and Muungano wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) which is a national network of small farmers groups in Tanzania. It was founded in 2010 with a focus to undertake joint advocacy activities in a bid to spearhead the attainment of land rights for small producers in Tanzania. These seven organizations now forming TALA are the founding members but recruitment of other members will be taking place step by step after completion of the scoping study cum stakeholders’ analysis that is going on. Despite the fact that the coalition is relatively new, its member organizations are quite experienced in advancing land rights for marginalized groups of small producers such as peasants, pastoralists, artisan miners, fisher-folks and hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. Previously, Land Rights Research and Resources Institute (LARRRI/HAKIARDHI) has had several attempts to work together through coordinated efforts with the six organizations currently forming TALA but without strong ties and joint long-term plans. Examples of joint works especially in high land conflict areas include that of Ihefu (where advocacy against forceful eviction of pastoralists resulted into formation of a probe commission and reparations of the aggrieved communities thereafter), Loliondo (where joint advocacy led to information dissemination widely and the parliamentary committee visit and to the area and at last a land use plan was drafted in trying to accommodate the interests of small producers) , Kilosa (where an order was issued against  eviction of pastoralists following recommendations of joint fact finding and advocacy of some of the current members of TALA), North Mara and Namwawala Village in Kilombero district where legal support to the villagers enabled them to file a case against the district authority that  reversed the decision to evict villagers to pave way for a sugarcane investor).  Loose ties between these organizations at times led to divided/weakened voices in advocating for land rights for rural based small producers and consequently resulted into unsustainable short-lived victories. It was thus thought imperative for the CSO dealing with land rights issues to join their efforts in addressing those challenges and empowering the communities to respond accordingly. This is what led to the idea behind the formation of Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA) that is, strengthening voice in advocating for land rights and ensure the security of tenure for rural based small producers and their sustainable livelihood on land while timely addressing the challenges that face them in realizing better life.
Essentially, TALA started its actual operations in January 2011 by first recruiting a Coordinator who takes into operation day to day activities. The core business of this alliance is to undertake joint interventions on a wide range of issues from research, advocacy, legal aid provision, conflict arbitration to broad based public engagements that promote land rights of the small producers in Tanzania. The alliance has adopted a joint strategy for joint lobbying and advocacy. This strategy aims at amplifying the voices of the majority rural communities that the TALA members are working for. However, this is not to undermine the role of individual member organizations in tackling specific issues around the thematic area of the organization’s specialization.  Towards that end, the alliance has already;
•    Prepared a 3 year programme from 2011 to 2013
•    Constituted a secretariat – this includes recruitment of the alliance Coordinator and spreading the tasks to other staff of the host organization
•    Fundraised and secured part of the funding for running the programme in its three year preliminary phase
•    Prepared an operational plan based on agreed thematic areas which reflect the alliance’s constituencies such as peasants, pastoralists, artisan miners, hunter-gatherers and fisher-folks.
•    Kick started implementation of the programme by commissioning a stakeholders analysis study and many other joint interventions (policy analysis, fact finding missions, advocacy through media, land rights researches etc)
•    Learning and sharing through visits to other alliances (Kenya and Uganda)
•    Carry out fact findings on Land rights
•    Participated in Public Hearing with regard to Constitution Amendment Bill
•    Carry out joint lobbying and advocacy on land rights

 

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