COSEKE UGANDA LIMITED partners with IGN in the digitization of Lands Records

The Ministry Of lands housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) contracted IGN which partnered with COSEKE UGANDA LIMITED in the digitization of Lands Records. The process of converting the paper land records into digitized data was implemented at six pilot sites across the country and covered mainly three broadareas. Though focus had been put on land titles, the first component of the project included rehabilitation of Cadastral maps (these are large area maps of the project areas). Component two was the transformation of Land titles and instruments and component three was the transformation of the Job Record Jackets (JRJ’s).

All land records in the country had been kept in paper form since records started being kept, therefore many were torn and worn out, COSEKE UGANDA LIMITED undertook a process to consolidate, rehabilitate and convert the titles and registration documents.In 14 months COSEKE UGANDA LIMITED had digitized at least half a million land titles in a process that partially made the Lands Ministry paper free in as far as land titles are concerned and with secure land records based on computerized information.

The project was implemented in only two years. About the process: Consolidation, Rehabilitation and Conversion of Titles and
Registration documents ( instruments), Job Record Jackets (JRJ) – survey records and Cadastral data and maps conversion by transferring them to digital form was among the key components of the Land Information System (LIS) project.The core objectives of the component was to “secure records” therefore every document was subjected to a “vetting process” with support from technical staff at the Ministry (registrars),which was carried out first before the above activities to ensure that no “garbage” was let through the system.
A major motivator for the LIS, on government’s side was to deal with the high rate of fraud in the land sector. Paper records were easy to forge, it was said a whole industry exists around Nasser and Nkrumah roads in Kampala, where titles could be manufactured within a matter of minutes. Paper records also made it possible for unscrupulous individuals to either alter or altogether make records disappear. Thirdly such a process proved to be long and tedious causing major delays to business but also providing a major incentive for corruption by people seeking to “facilitate” quick searches. The LIS has eliminated all this by making information available at the click of a button. This process has ultimately eliminated long lines in the corridors of the Ministry seeking for titles or any other related documents. The Land Information System has contributed to the formalization of property rights. Computerization is a very controlled process, that One cannot alter content that has been computerized without being noticed. The initiatives to modernize land administration and develop institutional transformation started in February 2010; the DeSILISoR project (“Design, Supply, Installation, Implementation of the Land Information System and Securing of Land Records”) helped the country to secure its land records, and facilitated the management of MLHUD as well as registration formalities for the public.

The Land Information System was developed and deployed in 6 pilot sites i.e.Kampala, Wakiso, Jinja, Mukono, Masaka, Mbarara).

500,000 files with an average of 70 documents in each file of leasehold, Freehold and Mailo were computerized. All land administration instrument documents were computerized.

A delicate process was undertaken from access of the original titles from the Ministry strong room, rehabilitating of old torn documents, scanning, indexing to refilling after they had been processed. This delicate process was crowned with the Final Review Stage where MLHUD staff conducted a review/QC of the details entered from the Property File and cross checked these against the information entered into ILS/LRS.
During this process at least 300 young Ugandans benefited not just from being part of a project that transforms the country’s land management system but from employment as well.

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