In any project that involves construction of highways, water pipelines or electricity from which the main intention is expected to cater for the wider public interest like the implementation of the Dar Rapid Transit (DART) project where public transport users in Dar es Salaam city can benefit from, compulsory land acquisition is unavoidable.
When serving a wider range of interests for the benefit of the public the question of compulsory land acquisition by the government of Tanzania has become an issue of paramount importance before it starts to implement its projects.
This is not an exception when it comes to developing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure in six phases that are intended to cover the main road network in Dar es Salaam.
Before starting to build the BRT infrastructure in Phase one, DART Agency and its key stakeholders had to tackle all issues pertaining to people affected property (PAPs) which included identification of areas for the project, sensitizing the public on the project and its effects to the community involved.
The sensitization can be done through mass media and social media platforms through collaboration with different stakeholders such as affected people, local leaders, experts in land acquisition, social workers and banks.
By social necessity, the same principles will definitely be applicable when it comes to the continuation of implementing next five phases of the DART project in order for the community surrounding the project opt for supporting it for benefit of many.
As DART Agency is bracing for the commencement of phase two infrastructure development along Kilwa Road and the vicinities of Mbagala area, the Agency has commissioned a government institution to facilitate workshops that would train its technical staff in order to avail themselves with necessary skills in conducting sensitization strategies and techniques in for the community understanding towards compulsory land acquisition in the earmarked areas for the DART project.
Presenting on how sensitization should be carried out in BRT projects, a lecturer from Ardhi University majoring in Land Administration, Dr. Upendo Matotola, has pointed out that experts in land use are prerequisite for every step in doing compulsory land acquisition for different projects apart from involving the people affected property, local leaders and bankers.
Dr. Matotola averred that there are issues that must be taken into consideration before arriving at paying compensation including assessment of the value of land and unexhausted improvement, and preparation of compensation schedule by a qualified valuer while adhering to section 3(1) paragraph (g) (i) to (vii) of the new Land Act of 1999.
She said that the main purpose of compensating a land owner “is to ensure that the claimant is restored to the same social, economic and financial state as he or she was before the acquisition.”
Dr. Matotola also elaborated that land compensation can take many different forms such as replacement of housing, land, and other assets including cash compensation.
Highlighting on compensation package in Tanzania, Dr. Matotola cited Land Acquisition Act 47 of 1967 section 14 paragraphs (a) to (f) and section 3(1) (g) of Land Act 4 of 1999 which stipulates what is to be compensated during compulsory land acquisition.
Citing the Land Act 47 of 1967 she has mentioned what is listed in the Act for compensation including market value of unexhausted improvement, compensation of crops, transport, disturbance allowance, loss of profit, and interest for delayed compensation payments.
The workshop which was conducted for two days in Bagamoyo from October 29, 2018, was facilitated by Tanzania Global Learning Agency and two lecturers from Ardhi University.
The workshop covered different subjects such as community sensitization on land compensation, and use, regulations governing compulsory land acquisition, and environment impact assessment.