Project information

Benet Land Rights in Eastern Uganda

The project will improve the human (and land) rights awareness of Benet activists and CSOs & strengthen advocacy efforts targeting greater recognition of Benet land rights, leading to a reduction in conflict involving Benet communities by 2013.

18 months

Charity information: Minority Rights Group International (MRG)

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) logo
  • Need


    In 1983, The Ugandan Government declared Mount Elgon, the area inhabited by the Benet people, a National Park and the Benet were forcibly removed from their land. This was done with minimal consultation with the community, thereby violating Uganda’s international legal obligations. The Benet have been forced into land-based conflicts with other communities, & those involved in advocacy against forceful evictions have been arrested.


    In order to improve the situation, the project will enhance coordination and cooperation to facilitate peaceful reconciliation of group interests. This will lead to peaceful coexistence, and will allow communities to advocate to decision makers with a more powerful, united voice. The initiative will also seek to ensure the implementation of the 2005 consent order, which recognized the Benet land rights and called for the Ugandan Government to ensure their access to social services.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Benet community/CSOs have an improved understanding of their land rights by 2013.


    » 80 Benet activists and members of CSOs are trained on land rights, justice mechanisms and advocacy strategies.
    » Creating a Benet CSO coordination group to bring together various CSOs, CBOs and community members to further advocate at the national level.

    Success will be when 80 Benet activists and members of CSOs acquire better understanding of their rights and the ways to promote them.

    Aim 2

    Increased coordination and negotiation between Benet activists/CSOs and decision-makers.


    » Producing a briefing on the current situation of the Benet community & its distribution to relevant governments, NGOs, & international decision-makers
    » Roundtable meetings between 80 stakeholders, including government officials, & Benet activists and representatives.

    Success will be when 80 stakeholders attend roundtable meetings with Benet activists and representatives and become more aware of the issues faced by the community.

    Aim 3

    Reduce land disputes and tensions between the Benet and other communities.


    » Organizing workshops for 30 representatives of the Benet and other communities on negotiation, conflict-resolution, and peace-building.

    30 CSOs/activists from Benet, Sabiny, Bagisu and other migrant communities participate in the workshops & acquire the skills needed to manage land conflicts peacefully.

    Aim 4

    Promote gender equality in the targeted minority communities.


    » Making sure that 50% of the training participants are female.
    » Paying specific attention to the needs of women (and children) during the research and publication process.

    Success will be when women's needs are incorporated in the research and training processes.

  • Impact


    The project will strengthen the capacity of the Benet community in Uganda to achieve their basic rights in the targeted districts of Kapchorwa, Buikwe and Kween. It will ensure that government stakeholders both recognise and value the perspective of the Benet. As such, the project will enhance the inclusiveness and participation of the under privileged communities. It will build consensus on disputed and divided societies and will include the peaceful conciliation of group interests.


    Risks include fieldwork and community based activities jeopardised by civil/political unrest. However, MRG has a contingency plan that would be put into place and would encompass this project.


    Reporting to donors will take place on an annual basis, in conjunction with our main donor’s reporting guidelines.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £82,439

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      Amount Heading Description
      £55,931 Human resources foreign and local staff, seminar participants
      £14,290 Travel international and local transportation
      £4,555 Equipment and supplies vehicles, furniture, computers, office rent
      £7,663 Publication studies, research, translation, interpreters
  • Background


    Eastern Uganda, especially the districts Kapchorwa, Kween, and Buikwe


    20,000 Benet community members, and more broadly, Sabiny community members (totalling 230,000 in targeted districts). Any successes in the advocacy work will also benefit minority groups more generally in Uganda as precedents will be set for future rulings in favour of marginalised groups.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    There is no other NGO with MRG’s broad mandate on minority issues, nor its high reputation among minority communities, governments and UN human rights bodies. MRG has consultative status with the UN Economic & Social Council and observer status with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. MRG has extensive experience in securing land rights for minority groups in Africa and dealing with conflicting interests between communities.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Community Development Resource Network (CDRN)

    CDRN will mainly be involved in the implementation of the project, since it has proven experience of working with the ethnic minorities in Uganda.

    Benet Lobby Group (BLG)

    BLG will play a vital role in mobilizing the community for the different activities under this project.