Defining security of land tenure in irrigation schemes in Niger
In Niger the land converted for public use is now facing a dual problem: on one hand, customary landowners or their descendants claim property rights on this space which supposedly belongs to the State, on the other hand, government bodies who manage this area do not have the legal documents to justify the State's rights over the developed (irrigated) land and, consequently, to protect it. How to ensure secure land tenure for the State on the developed land while preserving the legitimate rights of those working the land?
To answer this question, the National Office of Irrigated Agricultural Areas (ONAHA), with support from the Global Water Initiative (GWI) undertook this study. Its recommendations focus on the measures to take to better prepare for registration of the land: necessary documentation and/or the establishment of mechanisms to overcome the lack or inadequacy of the documentation; ongoing consultation with all the stakeholders, the cooperatives, farmers, communities living around the irrigation schemes, local authorities and civil society; the combination of legal and land expertise to advise and support the process.
Please note that this publication is in French, but for more information see: Our work in Niger