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AN APPROACH FOR
CADASTRAL RECORDS REORGANIZATION
AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A TOPOLOGICALLY STRUCTURED
CADASTRAL INFORMATION SYSTEM IN TANZANIA
FRANCIS W. DERBY
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
There are so many people, to whom I owe my gratitude for their assistance and
encouragement through this dissertation, it would be impossible to name them all here. I
would especially like to thank my graduate committee, who through their combined
knowledge and experience, inspired, motivated, and guided me to the end.
My utmost gratitude goes to Associate Professor David W. Gibson for giving me
the opportunity to study in this university and for believing in my ability to complete this
program successfully. The advice and guidance he gave to me during the initial stage of
my doctoral program helped me to develop the concepts for this research.
My sincere thanks goes Associate Professor Scot E. Smith, Ph.D., for the
financial support at the time when I needed it most. I am grateful for his contribution as a
major professor and the helpful ideas he offered during my most trying moments.
Sincere gratitude goes to my friend and fellow graduate student, Joe Aufinuth for
assisting me in analyzing my results and for preparing my figures. I thank him for the
agonizing moments he spent listening to my problems and complaints.
I would like to express my appreciation to Associate Professor Charles D. Ghilani,
Ph.D. and Assistant Professor Thomas A. Seybert, Ph.D., of The Pennsylvania State
University for their helpful ideas and companionship. I will always cherish the help and
advice that they offered .
To my wonderful and understanding wife, Angela, and our children, Yahan and
Pinkrah, I would like to express my appreciation for their love, devotion, and support. I
am really blessed to have a family like ours.
Finally, and most of all, I thank God for making it all possible.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................... ii
LIST OF TABLES .................................................... vii
LIST OF FIGURES .................................................... ix
ABSTRACT ......................................................... xii
1 INTRODUCTION ............................................... 1
Research Objectives, Methodology and Scope .......................... 4
Definitions ..................................................... 7
Research Organization and Contribution ............................ 10
2 LAND MANAGEMENT AND CADASTRAL INFORMATION SYSTEM .. 13
Land Management .............................................. 14
Legal Framework ............................................... 16
Land Delivery ............................................ 18
Estate Management ....................................... 18
Regulation and Reform .................................... 19
Revenue Generation ....................................... 19
Operational Agencies ............................................ 20
Land Survey ............................................. 22
Land Titling ............................................. 23
Land Registration ......................................... 24
Valuation and Assessment ................................. 25
Information Support Systems ..................................... 28
Environmental Information System ........................... 31
Socioeconomic Information System .......................... 31
Infrastructure Information System ............................ 32
Cadastral Information Systems .............................. 32
3 CADASTRAL INFORMATION AND RELATED ISSUES .............. 36
Different Types of Cadastres .................
Existing Cadastral Information Models ..........
The North American Model (NRC model) .
Williamson's Model ..................
The Developing Country Model .........
The Wisconsin Land Information Model ...
Spatial Data ..............................
Spatial Data Capture .................
Parcel Identifiers ..........................
Data Management .........................
Flat Files ...........................
Hierarchical Files ....................
Relational Databases ..................
4 EXISTING CADASTRAL ARRANGEMENTS IN
Administrative Arrangements within Tanzania ....
Organizational Arrangements within MLHUD ....
The Urban Development Division ........
The Survey and Mapping Division .......
Land Development Division ............
The City Council ofDar Es Salaam ............
Existing Land Delivery Process ...............
Survey and Demarcation...............
Allocation and Registration.............
Cadastral Surveying Processes within Divisions ...
Surveying and Mapping Division ........
Property Valuation and Rent Assessment ..
Certificate of Occupancy ..............
Registration of Certificate of Occupancy ...
.. .. ..
5 CADASTRAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS APPROACH ..............
Discussion of Improvements to Current Cadastral Arrangements ..........
Urban Development Division ..............................
Surveys and Mapping Division ..............................
Land Development Division ................................
Document Processing Improvements ...............................
Reorganization of Existing Records ..........................
Processing of New Documents ..............................
Organization of Cadastral Information ..............................
Topologically Structured Cadastral Data Concept .....................
Topological Rules and Cadastral Index Mapping ..................
Application of the Rules to cadastral Surveying .......................
Boundary Definition ...................................... 142
Subdivisions ....................................... ..... 143
Topological Rules and Principles Illustrated ................... 146
6 CADASTRAL INFORMATION MODEL FOR TANZANIA...... ....... 153
Cadastral Index Map Compilation in Metric Space......................... 154
Cadastral Index Mapping in Topological Space.............. .......... 158
Cadastral Information System for Tanzania.. ......................... 160
Cadastral Index Map for Tanzania ........................... 160
Linkage Mechanism................................... 166
7 PILOT PROJECT ..............
Data Sources ..................
Hardware and Software ..........
Analogue image conversion .
Attribute Data Processing ........
Spatial Analysis ................
Summary and Analysis of Results ...
8 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..........
A-1 TEMPLATES FOR PROCESSING DOCUMENTS AT THE LAND
O FFICE ............................................... 208
A-2 TEMPLATES FOR PROCESSING DOCUMENTS AT THE LAND
O FFICE ............................................... 211
B EVOLUTION OF LAND TENURE POLICIES IN TANZANIA .......... 214
C OBSERVATIONS AND CONCERNS WITH EXISTING SYSTEM ...... 233
REFERENCES ..................................................... 243
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................... 254
LIST OF TABLES
4-1 Administrative Regions in Tanzania.................................................................58
4-2 Land Registration zones in Tanzania................................................................68
5-1 Cadastral Survey Processing Tasks ................................................................. 117
5-2 Improved procedure for processing and Issuing Certificate of Occupancy ....... 123
5-3 Document processing Tasks at the Land Registry ...........................................126
5-4 Point Equivalence Table ................................................................................... 47
5-5 Line Equivalent Table .................................................................................. 148
5-6 Line-Node Topology ................................................................................... 148
5-7 Polygon-Line topology ................................................................................ 150
6-1 Coding structure of Parcel Identifiers................................................................169
6-2 Codes for Administrative regions in Tanzania .................................................170
7-1 Textual information associated with Individual Subdivision/Cadastral
7-2 Relevant Textual Information from Title Office and Land Registry....................183
7-3 Erroneous Records Identified during data entry at the Land Office..................186
7-4 Erroneous Records Isolated during data entry at the Land Registry................ 186
7-5 Results of Internal Consistency Check among the Land Office records .......... 187
7-6 Inconsistencies among Land Office and Land Registry records....................... 188
7-7 Query Types That Were Done on the Cadastral Information..........................189
7-8 Internal Inconsistencies Identified During manual Data Entry..........................196
7-9 Results of Internal Consistency Check on the Data..........................................197
7-10 Comparison of land Office and Land Registry Records....................................198
LIST OF FIGURES
2-1 Land Management and Land Information Systems.......................................... 15
2-2 Components of a cadastre ............................................................................... 27
2-3 Components of a Cadastral Information System...............................................34
3-1 NRC Model for a Multipurpose Cadastre.........................................................41
3-2 Williamson's Multipurpose Land Information model.......................................43
3-3 Cadastral Model for Developing Countries..................................................... 44
4-1 Organizational Chart of MLHUD.....................................................................60
4-2 Survey and Demarcation.................................................................................. 72
4-3 Allocation, Titling and Registration.................................................................73
4-4 Schematic Diagram of the Procedure for assessing Property.............................84
4-5 Land Office Procedure for Issuing a Certificate of Occupancy..........................86
4-6 Procedure for Registering a Certificate of Occupancy......................................89
5-1 Computerized Cadastral Data Management System........................................ 109
5-2 Procedure for Isolating Inconsistencies among Existing Land Records.......... 112
5-3 Improved Cadastral Survey Processing Procedure.............................................16
5-4 Revised Approach for Processing new Certificates of Occupancy................... 122
5-5 Improved Procedure for Processing Documents at the Land Registry............. 125
5-6 Topologically Structured Multipurpose Land Information Model ......................130
5-7 Node snapping precedence rule.........................................................................137
5-8 Two Definitions of a line ............................................................................... 137
5-9 A node-vertex precedence ...... .................................................................1... 38
5-10 Node-line precedence ............................................................................... 139
5-11 Node precedence after a line intersection........................................................140
5-12 V ertex snapping............................. ................................................................... 141
5-13 Two Topological representations of a Cadastral Boundary................................142
5-14 Representation of a Boundary with Vertices......................................................143
5-15 Topological errors in Cadastral Index Mapping .................................................144
5-16 Three separate cadastral surveys .......................................................................146
5-17 Two Topologically structured cadastral index maps of the same area..............151
6-1 Coordinate Transformation in Metric Space......................................................156
6-2 Topologically assembled cadastral index map..............................................159
6-3 Graphical data conversion................................................................................. 161
6-4 Creating a Cadastral Index Map for Tanzania...................................................163
7-1 Vector Drawing of Region Surrounding Pilot Area.................................... ....... 173
7-2 Topologically Generated Cadastral map of Pilot Area ......................................177
7-3 An Overlay of Cadastral map and a Geo-Referenced Aerial Photograph............ 182
7-4 Land Rent Analysis on Kijitonyama Block 44....................................................191
7-5 Land Rent Analysis on Sinza Block A..............................................................193
B-1 Effect of 1896 Land Tenure Amendment........................................................217
B-2 Tenure Structure after 1928 Amendment ..........................................................219
B-3 Land Tenure Structure after 1969 Amendment................................................ 223
B-4 The Land Policy in a Dilemma........................................................................ 227
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfilment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
AN APPROACH FOR CADASTRAL RECORDS REORGANIZATION AND
IMPLEMENTATION OF A TOPOLOGICALLY STRUCTURED CADASTRAL
INFORMATION SYSTEM IN TANZANIA
Francis W. Derby
Chairman: Dr. Scot E. Smith
Major Department: Civil Engineering
The government of Tanzania is in the process of changing the country's existing
land policies in favor of a land market economy. In preparation for the anticipated
increase in property conveyancing and land-related transactions, the government needed
among other things, to:
* review procedures for recording land information and to adopt methods for
strengthening administrative and cadastral capacity to support land registration
* review the mission, organizational structure, and staffing allocation of regional
offices, identify problems and institutional obstacles that prevent synergy of
information handling and record handling among related agencies and the national
* develop a well-designed administrative procedure for land registration as well as
procedures for developing a cadastral information system suitable for Tanzania.
This dissertation presents a study of the organizational arrangements and administrative
procedures for parcel allocation, parcel survey and demarcation, and the registration of all
particulars affecting the creation of a legal cadastre in Tanzania. Administrative problems
and bottlenecks that prevent the smooth flow of activities between the land management
agencies were identified.
Approaches were developed to eliminate the land records organizational problems,
improve administrative procedures for land allocation and title processing, and provide a
streamlined method for faster document processing and land record maintenance. A land
information system model was developed for Tanzania. The model uses topologically
structured graphical overlays, to provide information support for a cadastral, cadastral
information system. The graphical data are linked to the descriptive records through a
newly developed parcel identification system for Tanzania.
Procedures were developed for isolating inconsistencies in the existing records which are
in paper form and converting the error-free records into digital format. A procedure for
adding new records to the computerized system and for maintaining the records up-to-
date was developed.
A pilot project was initiated which successfully tested the topological approach for
producing the cadastral index map to support a cadastral formation system. The pilot
study highlighted the ability to perform analysis on the data and to obtain information to
support land management decisions, even in the absence of an accurately surveyed map.
An essential recipe for proper land management is up-to-date information
concerning location, extent, ownership and use of parcels of land. In many developing
countries, where a large percentage of the economy is tied to the land, land records are
vital for efficient land and natural resource management. When maintained properly, such
information can also help to facilitate transactions in land. In more developed countries
with dynamic land market activities, information derived from land records offers
substantial benefits to individual land owners as well as governments. For the individuals,
currency of the information ensures, among other things, faster, safer and less
cumbersome procedures for land-related transactions, protection of various rights to the
use and enjoyment of the property, and fair taxation on properties. For the government,
up-to-date and well maintained land-related information based on systematic recording of
rights in land are important in many sectors of government such as physical planning of the
land, revenue generation, infrastructure development, and environmental protection.
Advances in computer technology and data management procedures have provided
additional benefits such as the ability to perform complex statistical analysis on land
records, identify trends in land market activities, and assess impacts of developments on
the society. The same cannot be said about synergy of land-related information in
In 1974, a sub committee of the United Nations noted that,
"...systematic records of land and rights in land have great importance for public
administration, land planning, and land development, and private transactions in
land. This situation is particularly true in those developing countries where the
rapid growth of population has caused increasing pressure on rural land, while
simultaneously a massive migration of people to the cities and towns has led to the
uncontrolled growth of urban centers. Nevertheless, the need for accurate land
records is often ignored by policy-makers; and the cadastral systems of many
countries are, in consequence, highly defective..." (United Nations 1974, 25-26).
This situation resulted in improper planning and inefficient management of natural
resources, and was a catalyst to exacerbated social and economic problems. This
observation from the United Nations was probably the first to establish a link between
accurate land records and efficient resource management. Reports from the World Bank
(Feder and Davis 1991; Holstein 1990) indicate that although efforts have been made by
governments of developing countries to improve the quality of their land records, progress
has been slow and success stories are few.
Among developing African countries, the use of land as a source of livelihood
often takes precedence over its use as a marketable commodity. In some rural
communities of Africa, such as in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Namibia, and
Kenya, parcels of land have traditionally belonged to tribes, ethnic groups, or clans.
Among rural communities, land titling and registration concepts, as are known and
practiced in the western world, are alien to established systems of communal ownership
and land stewardship. Common property rights in the traditional (indigenous) land tenure
system ensures that users hold land in trust for descendants of the community. In the
urban centers of these same countries, despite the relatively active land-related
transactions, many people view the processes of registration and titling as expensive, time
consuming, and offer no tangible benefits to them as individuals (Moreno in Dale and
McLaughlin, 1989, 27). The result is that only a small percentage of the land in most
developing countries is registered.
The system for recording individual rights to the use and enjoyment of parcels of
land in most developing countries function poorly. In the urban centers of most
developing countries, it is financially costly and extremely time consuming to establish
legal ownership to any land parcel, and to identify the type of limitations to the use of the
parcel (Dunkerley 1985; Dale and McLaughlin 1989). Part of the economic problem in
most developing countries has originated from improper allocation of land to its most
economic use, improper or ineffective documentation of rights to land, and consequently,
inability on the part of the government to monitor the use of the land and to invest in the
resources of the land. In addition, most developing countries have not had proper
procedures for recording transactions in land.
Experiences in developed countries indicate that private individuals, and the public
as a whole, are benefitting from the derivative information which is obtained from large
scale documentation of ownership and rights to land units. Such benefits are realized in
terms of effective land management, fast and efficient transactions in land, fair property
taxation system, and economic development.
Change, however, has begun to occur. Taylor (1991) noted that since 1986,
governments of many developing countries such as Mexico, Bolivia, St. Lucia, Zimbabwe,
Botswana, Thailand, and Honduras, with the help of international agencies, such as the
World Bank and the United Nations, have initiated programs to recompile and to maintain
comprehensive records of land ownership as well as transactions in land as initial stages to
effective land management. With the exception of Thailand, many of these programs are
in progress and successful results with regard to effective land and resource management
have not been well documented.
The research presented here is an effort to reorganize and modernize the land
records management system in Tanzania in a manner that will enable the government to
take control of land and resource management and to ensure economic development
through proper land and resource management.
Research Objectives, Methodology and Scope
In 1991, the government of Tanzania initiated a reform of its existing land policy in
favor of a land market economy. Adoption of a land market economy in Tanzania
required that the cadastral system should not only be aimed at documenting the legal
ownership of the parcel (as is the current situation), but it should contain information that
may be used for faster property conveyancing, fair property valuation, equitable tax
assessment and for monitoring land-related transactions and land use patterns. In
reforming the cadastral recording system to accommodate the changes in objectives, the
existing records and the recording process had to be purged of all the problems that
prevented efficient land allocation and title registration. The improved recording system
had to be designed to facilitate the registration process, provide efficient data recording,
storage, and retrieval methods, and where necessary, trace the sequence of land transfers
over a specified period of time.
This research has been conducted using the following basic assumptions :
* Land as a resource, is essential to all mankind and therefore needs to be managed
* The cadastre is a tool for land and resource management (Holstein 1990).
* The cost of compiling the cadastre should bear a direct relationship to the value of
the land and the objectives for government (Dale 1990).
* A complete and up-to-date cadastral information system can serve as a resource
for land management, and socioeconomic development and national development
* The cadastre is the building block for a multi-purpose land information system
* The need to maintain land records is particularly important in developing countries
(United Nations 1974; Dale and McLaughlin 1989).
The objectives of this research are:
To investigate a suitable approach for reorganizing existing cadastral records by
studying the existing process and identifying problematic areas.
* Identify and recommend actions that will eliminate the problems and pave the way
for a more efficient cadastral data capturing and processing.
* Using the reorganized records, develop a cadastral information system which will
be the building block for a broader Multipurpose Land Information System.
* Design an improved land data processing procedures to eliminate bottlenecks and
to speed up the titling and registration processes.
* Develop an approach for cleaning and updating existing records.
* Develop procedures for incorporating new data into the system.
To achieve these objectives, a comprehensive study of the Tanzania land delivery
and cadastral record management system had to be done. The study involved visits to
administrative centers within Tanzania to study the land management procedures. The
study included, among other things, land allocation procedures, cadastral data capture and
processing, title registration and records management procedures, as well as the legislation
that identified the type, quality, standards, and format for the data. The record keeping
and maintenance procedures had to be studied in order to identify problematic areas so as
to develop improvements to the system.
The focus of this research is on organizational and administration issues pertaining
to the reorganization of cadastral records and development of a cadastral information
system for Tanzania. This research does not cover political, legal, policy or institutional
issues pertaining to cadastral information systems, land management, or land information
management in Tanzania, although it is recognized that these play a major role in land and
For this research, "Land" is defined to encompasses all things directly attached to
the surface of the earth, including those areas covered by water (Dale 1989). Land
management is defined as the process by which land and resources in land are put to good
effect. Land management includes resource management, which deals with facilitation of
economic development through inventory, extraction, conservation, and sale of natural
resources. Allocation and management of such resources are effected through instruments,
concepts, measures, and principles which are based on culture, land laws, land tenure and
property rights, registration of those rights, and transactions involving those rights
Land administration involves the development and use of the land in the manner
which has been prescribed by the instruments, land laws and property rights. The aim of
land administration is to define management procedures, regulations and legal framework
for agencies responsible for land delivery, estate management, revenue generation,
planning and control of land resources. Land administration, therefore, provides the
mechanism for land planning, parcel allocation, enforcing of rights and restrictions on the
use of land, impact assessment and policy reform. These activities are facilitated by the
ability to capture the relevant data to aid in monitoring and identifying areas where actions
and reforms are needed, planning appropriate courses of action, implementing the adopted
choice, and monitoring the results of the implementation for success and further
In this dissertation, information is defined as the product of data analysis. Within
any organization, management decisions and actions arise from the flow of information
upward, downward, and laterally across the organization. Due to the complex nature of
decision making processes, vis-a-vis the external factors which influence the decision,
quantity and quality of the available information upon which the decision is based, and
possible impact on the organization and the community at large, there is often a need to
establish an information system to support decision making processes. An information
system is a group or pattern of associated activities which according to Anderson (1986),
will normally have the following elements:
* A common purpose.
* An identifiable objective.
* An established sequence of procedures and data flow with at least one but possibly
many elements of input, movement, action, storage and output.
* Feedback of information, giving control over the system.
* A boundary that defines the extent of the system.
* Dependence on specific data.
One such information system is a Land Information System (LIS). The purpose of
an LIS is to provide a decision support for land management. In achieving this objective,
the requisite data about the land, within the confines of the jurisdiction, are captured,
stored, and processed. As an information system, an LIS has an established sequence of
data input, data processing and output channels. For this dissertation, therefore, an LIS is
a system containing spatially referenced land data and requisite analytical tools for
querying the data to obtain information to support land and related management decisions.
The system may include human and technical resources which allow retrieval and
dissemination of the information. At the root of land information systems are parcel-level,
though not necessarily parcel-based, data.
A Cadastral Information System is a special type of land information system which
deals specifically with cadastral data. It is comprised of computer hardware, software, and
a database containing cadastral data such as the graphical layout of the parcel, ownership,
size, location, use, and encumbrances that affect the use and enjoyment of the parcel. The
system enables the performance of ad hoc queries on the data and may have graphical
capabilities for the display of the results. Cadastral records play an important role when it
comes to transactions in land and management of properties in the public and private
Due to marketability and transferability of land parcels, ownership information
changes very often and hence consideration needs to be given as to how current this
information needs to be to meet user needs. Information has to be relevant, available and
timely, if they are to be of any use for land management. The purpose for which cadastral
information are to be used should control the accuracy and reliability standards for data
capture and management. Although in some circumstances one can be more important
than the other, such relative importance could change over time.
Research Organization and Contribution
This research begins with the notion that land policy as an institution, governs all
land management activities. From this standpoint, a land management taxonomy is
developed in Chapter 2. The taxonomy identifies the hierarchical structure of land
management and the role of information as a decision support tool in land management.
Chapter 3 discusses existing cadastral information models and current issues pertaining to
spatial, descriptive information and linkage mechanisms and reviews their focus and
relevance to the Tanzanian objectives. Applicability of existing cadastral models to these
objectives is discussed. This review helps to develop a cadastral information model which
uniquely addresses the Tanzania land management problem. Chapter 4 takes an in-depth
look at the existing land delivery system and cadastral arrangements in Tanzania and
identifies inherent problems. Cadastral data capture and computerization methods are also
reviewed with a view to remove bottlenecks. A discussion of the Tanzanian land delivery
problems is conducted in Chapter 5. Solutions and approaches for eliminating the
problems are discussed at this stage. A Multipurpose Land Information system which
utilizes topologically structured graphical overlays is presented as a model for managing
Tanzania land information. In Chapter 6, a pilot project aimed at implementing the
recommendations and to highlight the benefits of integrated cadastral information system
for Tanzania is discussed. Conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter 7.
This research makes an initial contribution to the field of cadastral record
organization, with specific reference to Tanzania, by conducting an extensive study of the
cadastral data capture, land allocation procedures, land registration system, and record
keeping and maintenance procedures in Tanzania. Organizational and technical, problems
associated with current practices and procedures are also identified. For the first time, the
legislation identifying the structure and responsibilities of land management agencies
within Tanzania are reconciled to identify areas of concern such as overlapping
responsibilities and inconsistent authorities between land management agencies.
In developing procedures to alleviate the identified problems, a cadastral
information model was conceptualized based on the information support system
components which were developed in Chapter 2, using topologically structured graphical
overlays for individual information support components. This approach which utilizes
base maps in topological space is a deviation from existing models which are based on
base maps in metric space. Some of the existing metric models have been reviewed in
Chapter 3. In addition, the data organization is designed with regard to the type of land
information support system (cadastral, infrastructure, socioeconomic, or environmental),
rather than the agencies that utilize the information, especially since within any
jurisdiction, the data requirements in terms of volume and accuracy, vary among agencies.
Another contribution is the development of a hierarchical parcel identification structure
based on the socio-political divisions in Tanzania and the public's perception of parcel
identification, as a linkage mechanism between the descriptive information support
systems and the graphical overlays.
In considering the records management aspect of this research, a systematic
approach for reorganizing existing cadastral records, and developing a cadastral
information system without drastically altering existing administrative procedures was the
objective. An approach for isolating inconsistent and obsolete data among existing
records was developed. Another procedure for recording new information and for
maintaining the integrity of the system was developed.
Finally, an approach for removing administrative bottlenecks within the system and
speeding up the land allocation and registration processes without compromising accuracy
or integrity of the data was developed. As would be observed, some of the contributions
of this research are specific to Tanzania while other contributions, such as the
topologically structured land information model and the parcel identification system may
be applicable elsewhere.
LAND MANAGEMENT AND CADASTRAL INFORMATION SYSTEM
Disregarding minor additions through volcanic activities, earthquakes, and other
natural occurrences, land is finite in size. Land provides the resource base for most
human existence. Humans, plants, and animals have always depended on the land for
sustenance. As of yet, no substitute has been found to match the uniqueness of land both
as a resource base and as the platform upon which terrestrial activities are performed.
People have different concepts or attitudes about land. On one extreme land is
viewed as property which carries specific rights of ownership and use which is transferable
to other people. This concept is dominant in developed countries where land is viewed as
a marketable commodity and, as such, can be used as collateral for credit and economic
development (Marquis 1979).
Another extreme is the view of land as common property. This view implies that
rights of access and use of the land belong to members within a specific group or
community. Access and use by people outside of the group or community is restricted
(Bohannan 1973; Marquis 1979). This concept is mostly held in developing countries
where land is viewed as an interacting natural system whose integrity needs to be
protected, an whose primary qualities have to be preserved for future generations
Population increase, large scale mechanized farming, and urbanization have
imposed unanticipated pressures on the available land in both developed and developing
countries. For example in Tanzania, mechanized farming during "operation vijiji" (see
Appendix B) eliminated large portions of the breeding grounds of the Masai tribe and
introduced other socioeconomic problems besides alienation of their land. With
advancement of development and agriculture, industry and settlement compete for
available land. Usage of parcels of land undergoes changes, sizes of holdings change, and
land values change in response to social and economic factors. Land management
activities such as land use planning and control are therefore critical to the survival of any
nation or community that is undergoing development to ensure that any piece of land is
put to its most economic use. In this chapter, the role of information in decision-making is
reviewed in the context of land management. This chapter establishes the need to
organize land records in a manner which facilitates synergy of information in support of
land management decisions.
Land management, in the context of this research, is viewed as an embodiment of
legal principles, administrative procedures, and operations which are associated with the
stewardship of land. The overriding principle for land management activities is the policy
(see Figure 2-1). Land policy is an institution which comprises of social, economic,
cultural, and legal prescriptions that define how the land and benefits from the land are to
be allocated, and the manner in which the land and resources are to be used (Dale and
I Land Delivery Estate Management
Revenue Generation Regulation and Reform
Planning and Control /j
I Adjudication COMPONENTS
I -- --I
Other operations Valuation and
I i I
n i ii n
Info. System Info. System
I -SUPPO RTSYiEMS
Info. System Info. System
Land Management and Land Information Systems
McLaughlin 1989, 6). A land policy provides the guiding framework within which
interests in land may be held and the manner in which the land, as a resource, may be
Barnes (1994a), contends that in the ideal situation, the land policy should reflect
the practices of the people, even though this is not the situation in many developing
countries. Land policy prescriptions are defined through instruments, land laws, rules and
regulations which are executed by land administrators. Although the policy should
establish the legal framework within which land management operations are conducted, it
has been noted by Barnes (1994b) that in many Latin American countries the land laws are
drafted with little or no regard to the indigenous tenure practices of the people. Another
example is Tanzania, where existing land laws are the same as those that were enacted by
the colonial governments, with minor modifications such as replacing the word
"Governor" with "President." Existing land policies of Tanzania clearly do not reflect the
land tenure practices of the Tanzanian people (Shivji 1995, 4-8). The legal framework of
land management is the subject of the next section.
Through the legal framework of land management (Figure 2-1), rights and rules
which guide the development and use of the land in accordance with the prescriptions of
the land policy are established. The objective of the legal framework is to define
guidelines for managing land resources, protecting individual rights to the use and
enjoyment of the land, consolidating land, protecting the environment, and controlling land
development and land degradation, which may result from uncontrolled urban migration,
excessive use of chemicals, pollutants, and other adverse uses of the land.
The legal framework defines the mechanism for land planning, parcel allocation,
enforcing of rights and restrictions on the use of land, impact assessment, and policy
reform. 'Rights,' in this context, should be distinguished from 'rules' governing the use of
the land or its resources. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (1971)
describes a 'right' as a just claim, whether legal, prescriptive or moral, and defines 'rules'
as principle or regulation governing a conduct, action, or procedure. Rules, therefore
create regulations and thereby, authorizations. A property right is the authority to
undertake particular actions related to specific domain on the land. For every right an
individual holds, rules exist that authorize or require particular actions in exercising that
property right. In addition, all rights have complementary duties. To possess a right
implies that someone else has a commensurate duty to observe this right. Thus, rules
specify rights and duties.
Proper land management cannot be achieved by simply defining the legal
framework to guide the manner in which resources pertaining to land can be used, but also
by providing suitable conditions for individual social and economic development, such as
secure ownership, access to credit facilities, and participation in land markets transactions
(Holstein 1990; Palmer 1996). Legal prescriptions of land management are defined with
relevance to issues pertaining to land delivery, estate management, revenue generation,
and regulation and reform ( Dale and McLaughlin 1989; Nichols 1993). These are
described in the subsection below.
This involves acquisition of land for public good or public use, government
projects, and new settlements particularly to accommodate the poor and landless, and the
assignment or delegation of interests in land parcels to individuals and organizations. An
ideal land delivery system should enable planned access to land in order to meet basic and
developmental needs of the people (Williamson 1990, 88). Land delivery procedures vary
from country to country. However, national interests and patriotic behavior requires that
those who have access to land, use it productively, and in a manner that will enhance
In Tanzania, where the land is regarded as belonging to the state, and land
ownership in perpetuity is not the practice, rights to the use and enjoyment must first be
obtained from the state. Allocation is normally for a fixed period with some reversionary
rights and some usufructuary conditions. There may be conditions attached to the use and
enjoyment of the land so as to ensure enhancement and proper use. One such condition
may be that the land must be used for a specific purpose, such as agriculture, residential, or
commercial. Another condition may be that the land should be developed within a
specified period of time to avoid forfeiture.
Estate management involves the management of large land holdings owned by
organizations and communities, such as tribes, clans, and families. In some jurisdictions,
the rules of land management within an estate may differ from those of other lands within
the state. For example, in Tanzania, it is required that individual owners of urban land
should have registered titles whereas an individual title is not required for property
ownership within community land. Another example is the situation whereby parcels in an
urban setting may be transferred to anyone, whereas community land may only be
transferred to members of the community. In villages and rural areas, where the land is
owned by the community, a 'Right of Occupancy' title is issued to the communities.
Regulation and Reform
Regulation and reform deals with issues affecting the manner in which land and its
resources are used. In developed countries, regulations in land use are imposed not only to
protect the land from excessive degradation and abuse, but also to protect the public and
the environment. As development progresses and priorities regarding the demand for
available land change, the need arises to review the uses for particular pieces of land and to
reform policies and conditions affecting certain uses of the land. Regulation and reform
activities are designed to monitor the land and to recognize changing objectives so as to
reform the land use plans, and to control excessiveness accordingly.
The revenue generation function is a way for the government to generate revenue
for land and infrastructure development. In developing countries, this is done in the form of
fees for processing transactions in land, such as sales, transfers, and registrations. In
situations where the land has been leased for a fixed term, a rental fee may also be imposed.
In some developed countries, such as the United States where the full bundle of rights is
conveyed during a sale or transfer, one of the methods for generating revenue from land is
to impose a tax on structural improvements which have been made on the land.
The legal framework of land management is implemented through operational
agencies which are responsible for adjudication, planning and control, land survey,
registration and titling, and valuation and assessment (see Figure 2-1). These are discussed
in the next section.
Operational agencies constitute the organizational arrangements which are made to
administer the prescriptions within the legal framework to support land management
activities. Operational agencies consist of divisions in management that are staffed by
personnel whose responsibilities include the provision of services in accordance with the
legal interpretation of the guiding principles of the land policy. The operational component
of land management is multi-disciplinary. Effective land management involves the
interaction and coordination of several government agencies and several operational units.
There is no definite pattern as to which agencies should be responsible for any
particular operation. However, for this research, land management operations have been
defined to include land use planning and control, adjudication, land survey, titling,
registration, and valuation and assessment (see Figure 2-1).
Those with decision-making responsibilities within these agencies are constantly
having to review their plans and actions, and to modify decisions in accordance with
changing conditions. Such decision makers need the information that may be derived from
analyzing the database, in order to make sound decisions. Decision-making within the
operational components are either to provide solutions to prevailing or impending
problems, or to capitalize on opportunities.
Problem detection and resolution arises when prevailing conditions indicate a
deviation from the expected results and therefore may impact adversely on expected
objectives. For example, if the data indicate a higher than normal growth in urban
population, the decision may be to allocate more land for residential purposes. This
decision may be an ad hoc one, however, a closer look at the data may reveal some
underlying cause, which may require a more permanent solution. Timely resolution of such
a problem can avoid some of the socioeconomic problems that are associated with
excessive urban migration.
Opportunity-seeking on the other hand, arises when the facts suggest that a
particular action may result in opportunities for the agency or the community. For
example, the strategic decision to construct a dam across a river may be aimed at providing
more agricultural land, jobs and development for the community. Also a decision to
computerize land records based on the knowledge that the information would be useful as
decision support resource for efficient land management operations. Both problem
detection and resolution, and opportunity-seeking strategies are based, not upon instincts
and wisdom alone, but on analysis of available data, together with external factors, such as
socioeconomic and environmental conditions within which the agency operates (McCloy
Planning and control, in the context of land management deals with allocation and
monitoring of resources in land with a view to maximizing efficiency by putting land to its
best use while ensuring the welfare of the community and the sustainability of the available
Adjudication is the determination of rights in parcels of land. The procedure
involves identification of the types of rights in the land, the persons in whom those rights
are vested, and limitations to the enjoyment of those rights. The adjudication process is
used by the operational units to eliminate defects in land titles by judiciously applying the
legal principles that define land ownership (Dale and McLaughlin 1989).
Due to the broad scope of land management activities, the following section is
focused on the cadastral aspect of land management operations, which involves land
survey, land titling and registration, and in the case of fiscal cadastre, valuation and
Land survey is a process for providing the geometric framework for mathematically
defining land parcels. As an essential land management tool, survey plans and maps are
used for planning and controlling development, for redefining disputed and uncertain
boundaries, and for defining property, political and geographic boundaries. Different types
of land survey activities are conducted for different purposes. For example, cadastral (land
inventory) surveys are used to establish property boundaries and to determine sizes and
shapes of the parcels over which individual rights exist. Cadastral survey of the mutually
accepted boundaries ensures that the boundaries can be replaced if they are destroyed.
Wherever possible, cadastral surveys should be tied to a network of pre-established
control points which were connected to a geodetic reference frame. The global positioning
system (GPS) and advances in modem surveying technologies have made it easier to
connect more survey works to the geodetic reference framework. With advancement of
computerized information management systems, survey plans and maps, in electronic
forms, have become an integral part of a land information system (LIS). These approaches
facilitate the integration of information because it is referenced to some spatial reference
Land titling is the process of issuing valid property titles by a recognized state
agency to existing occupiers of the land who do not have legitimate titles. The land titling
process confers official recognition of individual rights to the use of any particular parcel.
In a title registration system, such as the Torren's system in Australia, where some
guarantees are offered by the state against inadvertent loss due to an error in the
registration process, the title provides the unimpeachable proof of ownership and therefore
tenure security (Dale and McLaughlin 1989, 26) to the individual. Land title records
constitute a step towards land records compilation for the government. As documentary
evidence of ownership, the title may show types and limitations of any rights that are
exercised over the particular parcel of land. There is a general belief that secure property
rights, in the form of registered titles, act as an inducement for investment in real property
and, in the longer term, contribute to increased productivity by the individual (Holstein
1990; Lemel 1985). Feder, et al. (1988) also have presented evidence to support the
notion that increased security of tenure by having title documents increased agricultural
productivity in Thailand by between 11 and 27 percent over comparable non-secure
properties. Land titling should be accompanied by a registration system in order to legalize
the ownership of the property.
Land registration is the process of recording information about legal claims to
parcels of land. Registration is done to ensure clear and unambiguous titles and to avoid
fraud and disputes pertaining to conflicting claims concerning the right of use and
enjoyment of any piece of property. The types of registration include :
* private conveyancing whereby the records of the transaction are handled privately
between the individual parties, sometimes in the presence of witnesses.
* the deed system where the copies of the transaction records are kept in an official
registry of the government or state.
* title registration in which a state organization maintains the records, sometimes with
some guarantees in terms of security.
In the past, most forms of land registration were classified as either deed registration or
title registration. Over the years, adaptations of the two systems have been implemented by
governments according to their objectives and suitability of the system to their local
purposes. The main differences between deed and title registration systems have been
documented extensively (Dowson and Sheppard 1968; Simpson 1984; Dale 1990; Larsson
1991). Since the focus of this dissertation is more on the land records and the process for
acquiring such data than on the legal and institutional aspects of land registration systems,
this distinction will be ignored. However, it is important to note that as a land management
process, the system of land registration can influence not only the physical and legal, but
also the social and economic environments (Dale and McLaughlin 1989) of any jurisdiction.
Valuation and Assessment
In order to generate revenue for development, procedures are adopted to assess and
to tax land as a resource. Property rating and assessment are two methods that
governments use for generating revenue from land for development (Dale and McLaughlin
1989, 47). With the property rating system, revenue is generated as a result of a property
assessment. The tax is applied to improvements to buildings, and other structures that have
been erected on the land, and the uses to which the structures are being put. With land
valuation, tax is determined not on the structure that have been erected on the land nor on
the land use, but on the basis of the value of the land itself as determined from the
improved or unimproved state. The revenue generation objective necessitates classification
of the uses of land parcels, and where necessary, the yield. This ensures a fair assessment
of tax liability. Land records for such purposes have been an integral component of the
Cadastre. The word cadastre has its origins in antiquity when it referred to a
register containing descriptions of land parcels, value, use and proprietorship. The original
purpose for cadastral records was to assess the liability for tax and to determine
responsibility for payment. Over time, the records began to show evidence of land rights
(Simpson, 1984). Dowson and Sheppard (1968, 47), remarked that:
"... it is impossible to give a definition of cadastre which is both terse and
comprehensive, but its distinctive character is readily recognized and may be
expressed as the marriage of:
1. A technical record of the parcellation of the land through any given
territory, usually represented on plans of suitable scale, with
2. Authoritative documentary record, whether of a fiscal or proprietary nature
or of the two combined, usually embodied in appropriate associated
Today, the term cadastre is used to imply a parcel-based up-to date record of rights, and
responsibilities in land (FIG 1996).
The cadastral record includes a graphical delineation of the land, to which other
descriptive records pertaining to ownership, types of rights, and sometimes the value of the
parcel and any record of improvements on the land are linked. Such pieces of data are
contained in the land survey, land registration, and the valuation and assessment records, as
shown in Figure 2-2. The use of cadastre has broadened to an extent that in situations
where standards for its creation and maintenance can be ascertained in the judicial system,
the cadastral record may have legal status which is recognized by the courts, not only as
property description, but also for confirming right of use to the registered owner (Larsson
1991). The cadastral map can also serve as an index to other legal records such as
mortgages and liens. Currently, there are three distinct types of cadastral records (Simpson
LEGAL CADASTRE 1
Figure 2-2: Components of a cadastre
1984; Dale and McLaughlin 1989);
1. Fiscal cadastre which refers to a register that has been compiled primarily for
property valuation and tax assessment as a source of revenue generation for the
government. As an information resource, it also serves as an instrument for
administering the policy on land taxation system. It provides the information base
for equitable and efficient tax assessment.
2. Juridical or legal cadastre which contains records of the legally recognized record
of land ownership as a means of avoiding conflicting claims to the use and
enjoyment of the parcel of land. It also provides a means for legally transferring
those rights or interests, either through sale, lease, or mortgage. As an information
resource, legal cadastres provide the information base on land ownership to assist
planners in their efforts to sustain development and curtail abuse of the land.
Land Survey Data
Land Registration Data
Land Titling Data
3. Multipurpose cadastre is a combination of both the fiscal and the juridical as well
as other parcel-related information. It provides a variety of land tenure,
registration, and information services that are required by the community and other
land management agencies (McLaughlin 1975).
While the origins of cadastral record compilation may be tied to tax collection of the olden
days, principles underlying the cadastral register have been adopted around the world due
to the amount of information that can be derived from an analysis of the records.
The operational components of land management involve decision-making as well
as selection of choices among possible options. The availability of information in an
appropriate form can reduce the amount of uncertainty among the options. For efficient
performance, therefore, operational agencies require an information support system in
order to make sound land management decisions. Information support systems are
discussed in the next section.
Information Support Systems
Information is the basic ingredient for sound decisions. In a decision-making
situation, data alone can be overwhelming. Within any organization, better information
leads to a better understanding of a situation, and thereby, the possibility of a better
management decision. The need for a timely and informed decision calls for innovative
ways to not only access accurate and up-to-date information, but the tools to analyze the
available data and present the information in useful and easily comprehensible ways.
Activities within the operational units of land management in Figure 2-1 can be
viewed as a series of decision making processes. Information pertaining to the land are
needed to support decisions concerning the operational aspects of land management.
Through decision-making processes, rights, restrictions, and uses of the land are
continually revised so as to sustain development and maintain the maximum utility of the
land. For example, the rights and restrictions applied to peri-urban land in a developing
country may change once the area is integrated into the urban town. Administrative
control is transferred from the community to central or district government. Different rules
and regulations are applied to the transfer, sale, and use of what used to be village or
community land. Similarly, the use of a particular piece of land may change from residential
to commercial in order to keep pace with development and to satisfy the need to provide
amenities for the residents. Land managers need adequate information pertaining to the
land for planning, managing, and controlling its resources.
Many of the developing countries that maintain cadastres still use rudimentary filing
systems. With population increases and an associated upsurge in demand for land and
parcel-related transactions, there is an increased need for more refined information to
support decisions in land management. These situations call for a need to record details of
land parcels in an organized manner. Depending on the number of files, volume of
information, methods for cataloguing, and storage of files, information retrieval can be an
onerous task. In most developing countries, the inadequacies of information pertaining to
the land pose serious constraints on land administration and resource management.
Without knowledge about the land ownership and type of tenure, development programs
are difficult to initiate. Land-related information which is embodied in the cadastre, is being
increasingly recognized by governments as valuable resource for decision-making in land
management (Dale 1991).
Governments of many developing countries are reorganizing their cadastral records
so as to derive the benefits of effective land administration. The governments are doing this
by ensuring that rights in land are identified, recognized by the state, and are recorded in a
suitable form. Examples of such activities are found in Peru (Palmer 1996), Bolivia (World
Bank 1995), and Asia (Burns et al. 1996). Land records are also being converted into
digital format so as to harness the benefits of technological advances in data management
and information processing with the use of computers.
Advances in computer technology during the latter part of the 20"' century have
contributed immensely to the growth in the use of information handling technology. This
technology has offered decision makers the tools to adequately analyze voluminous
amounts of available data and the ability to model the effect of decisions, even before they
are implemented. This opportunity provides a means to perform ad hoc queries in order to
arrive at a viable option when it comes to decision making and allocation of resources.
In Figure 2-1, the information support system in land management has been
grouped into four broad categories: environmental, socio-economic, infrastructure, and
cadastral (Dale and McLaughlin 1989, 11). Each group can serve as an independent land
Environmental Information System
The focus of an environmental information system is to provide information about
factors which influence human health as well as ecological and economic impacts of land
use. The objective of the system is to protect and improve air quality as well as land and
water resources from degradation and abuse.
Human activities are not the only the only factors that can adversely affect the
quantity and quality of the resources. Naturally occurring phenomena such as volcanoes,
earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and forest fires are all factors which impact the
environment and hence human survival. Therefore, an environmental information system is
used to address issues associated with human activities and programs that affect the
environment at local, regional, or global levels. Examples of environmental issues would be
wetland depletion due to rapid and unplanned development, impact of development on
endangered species and degradation of the ecological system, flood analysis, and pollution
Socioeconomic Information System
Socioeconomic information systems include census, demographic, and statistical
data which are essential to government agencies for planning. Several different types of
data are gathered during a population census which are used by governments to monitor
progress of development and to plan for the future. The information derived from the data
helps to redefine priorities with regards to development objectives and to re-allocate
resources with respect to amenities such as schools, housing, infrastructure, and other
needs. By themselves, socioeconomic data may not qualify as land information. However,
when demographic data are referenced to a spatial location, the data become land-related
and therefore could be used as an input into a land information system.
Infrastructure Information System
Also referred to as Automated Mapping and Facilities Management (AM/FM), an
infrastructure information system is used for managing engineering and utility structures
such as pipe lines, telecommunications, transportation, and underground facilities. In
general, utility companies have the same requirement as parcel-based record keeping to
maintain records of their transmission and distribution networks, and to make decisions
regarding system capacities to meet public demand based on growth potential. With a
infrastructure information system, it is possible to forecast demand for utilities, plan
extension, locate plants for maintenance, and provide service connections. Land Managers,
in turn, benefit from such an information system by obtaining up-to-date information on the
development of the land so as to strategically plan for the location and magnitude of future
Cadastral Information Systems
Information pertaining to land parcels and land ownership and use are always
needed by several agencies for land management purposes. Reliable land records on their
own, do not provide solutions to land management problems. However, they do provide
the resource through which solutions can be devised and implemented. Whether the
cadastral records are kept in a manual filing system or in a computerized format, a cadastral
information system provides the government and other interested parties with a complete
and up-to-date inventory of land holdings and land use patterns for a particular jurisdiction.
A cadastral information system, as illustrated in Figure 2-3, is a system comprised of
computer hardware, software, database, and human resource, which operates on cadastral
The cadastral data may vary in accordance with the goals of the cadastre. Whereas
a legal cadastre will have information about the legal description of individual parcels, the
fiscal cadastre will contain such information as land value, land use, and tax liability. Other
information such as ownership, shape, area, location, and owner's address may be common
to both fiscal and legal cadastres. The system may be linked to other records such as data
at the land registry or utility records. The records are compiled from affidavits, signed or
notarized documents, maps, documented evidence, boundary identifiers, adjudication
records, files, and other legal documents that contain relevant information about the parcel.
In a dynamic land market, cadastral information is the most clearly documented type of
land information because ownership of properties changes every so often. Proper records
maintenance and updating procedures must be adopted in order to keep the data current.
A computerized cadastral information system allows analysis and synergy of information in
support of land management activities.
Grouped together, information support systems as shown in Figure 2-1, are referred
to as a Multipurpose Land Information System (MPLIS). Multipurpose land information
systems are recognized as a valuable resource for effective decision making in land
Figure 2-3 Components of a Cadastral Information System
management (Dale 1991). In most developing countries the inadequacies of information
pertaining to the land pose serious constraints on land administration and resource
management. Since 1985, emphasis in many countries has been placed on ensuring that
rights in land are identified, recognized by the state, and are recorded in a suitable form.
Examples of such activities are found in Peru (McLaughlin and De Soto 1994), Bolivia
SShape of parcel
I Administrative location
I Fiscal cadastre
(Barnes 1994a; Barnes 1994b), Asia (Burns et al, 1996; Feder and Nishio 1996), and the
Republic of Belarus (Bloch 1996). Such activities involve graphical delineation of the
property boundaries followed by an association of the relevant descriptive information.
Several approaches have been adopted to produce a representation of the property
boundaries. The approaches range from rudimentary land survey methods, such as the use
of the surveyor's compass and linen tape, to photogrammetric methods with variations
dictated by circumstances such as cost, time and technology. The next chapter deals with
current issues relating to graphical data capture and attribute data compilation.
CADASTRAL INFORMATION AND RELATED ISSUES
Advances in computer and information technology have revolutionized the way
management decisions are made. Information systems are being utilized as decision
support resources to minimize the uncertainty in the choices that are made by management.
With cadastral information, technology is again impacting the method for capturing the
graphical data, the structure of the descriptive data, and organization of the cadastral
records so as to meet the information requirements of the jurisdiction. Current research
has focused largely on three distinct areas of the cadastral information system. These are
the structure of the cadastral model, the methods used to capture the graphical data, and
the organization and association of the descriptive data. This chapter deals with a literature
review and identifies current thinking in these areas, even though the state of technology in
Tanzania does not lend itself very well to the application of the latest technology.
Historically, land records have been compiled for public use, by the State or by the
private sector. Simpson (1984, 124) distinguishes between land records which have been
compiled for the benefit of the State and those that are compiled by private entrepreneurs.
Whereas information required by the private sector are those which facilitate dealings in
land such as conveyancing and mortgage, those that are required by the state are related to
issues such as taxation, economic planning and land management.
A cadastral information system, as has been shown in Figure 2-1, is a type of land
information systems which is central to the land management process in any jurisdiction.
Development of cadastral information systems in the developed world have been influenced
by factors such as technological advances in the latter part of the 20' century, the need for
improved methods of managing land and related resources, and efforts to protect the
environment. In recent years, the type and detail of cadastral information that is needed to
support particular societal and administrative needs have been changing with respect to the
changing needs of the society. In the 1980s, researchers focused on cadastral models to
identify the complex interactions between the cadastral information and institutional,
political, and economic development of governments. Later, Williamson (1990, 81)
observed that cadastral models and related studies which evolved in the 1980s clarified
concepts, identified essential elements and broadened the use of cadastral information. A
description of the different types of cadastres is presented in the next section.
Different Types of Cadastres
Today, many types of cadastral systems are in operation with varying degrees of
resemblance to the classical fiscal and legal cadastres. Distinguishing characteristics of
cadastral information systems include factors such as the spatial resolution and scale of the
source map, the type and characteristics of the information that are recorded, and the
professional responsibility for managing the data. The F6deration Internationale des
G6ometres (FIG) (1996, 3) has identified the following means of categorizing cadastres:
* their primary function. (e.g. tax, juridical or multi-purpose land management).
* the type of rights that are recorded. (e.g. sub-surface rights, mineral leases, or
private ownership, timber concessions, etc.).
* the level of state responsibility in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the data.
(For example, some cadastres may have complete state oversight and responsibility
and perhaps state guarantee of tenure security whiles other systems may be
implemented with varying levels of public and private sector responsibilities for data
and information management).
* location and jurisdiction. (Distinguishes between urban and rural cadastres as well
as centralized and decentralized cadastres).
* the way in which information about the parcel are collected. (Methods for
capturing cadastral information include digitizing from existing maps and plans,
aerial photogrammetry, ground surveys tied to a geodetic reference framework,
uncoordinated ground surveys and measurements, cadastral survey using Global
Positioning (GPS) methods, geo-referenced aerial photography, etc. Each method
contains a certain degree of positional accuracy which influences the spatial
resolution of the system).
Cadastral information systems are regarded as vehicles for economic growth and social
equity (see Palmer 1996; Holstein 1990; Holstein 1996). In consonance with the modem
concept of information synergism, funding agencies such as the World Bank, the United
Nations(UN), International Development Bank (IDB), and the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) are working with governments of developing
countries to reform their cadastral systems and to modernize their land records. Cadastral
information models have been developed based on needs and priorities. Below are reviews
of some of the existing cadastral information models.
Existing Cadastral Information Models
Perhaps the earliest attempt to establish some connection between the information
provided by the central components of the cadastre and information required by the
government for socioeconomic development and land management was presented by Dale
(1976) in the United Kingdom and McLaughlin (1975) in Canada. Dale presented a
cadastral model that was comprised of central process elements which were influenced by
external factors. The external factors consisted of a broad spectrum of factors ranging
from government, education and professionalism, to legal issues and socioeconomic
factors. The central processes consisted of adjudication, demarcation, survey specifications,
survey methods and boundary description. The central processes were linked by output
elements and some feedback mechanisms. The output elements being the cadastral map,
title records, valuation and taxation, and planning and control elements. The feedback
elements for the model were the title legislation, land values, planning and control, and
An interesting point about Dale's model was the'fact that the boundary descriptions
served as the linkage mechanisms to the output elements. The key elements of the entire
model were the land survey and the boundary definition. It is not clear at this point
whether the model depicted a bias towards Dale's profession as a surveyor, but it is
obvious that at the time of its inception, the dominant factors regarding the cadastral
process were the boundary definition rather than land use or the resources within the
boundary. Other than simplified keywords, the use of long and verbose boundary
description as a linkage mechanism in a computerized environment would have presented
some coding problems, both in the amount of space required to store the code and the
processing time when it came to searching for an item. More importantly, since people use
different words and style in describing the same parcel, the descriptions of a boundary
could differs from one database to another. Dale's model did not envisage multipurpose
land information systems. McLaughlin (1975) presented the role of the cadastre within a
multipurpose land information management system and identified cadastral information as a
land management tool and a decision support resource. This became the cornerstone for
the cadastral models that are currently in existence.
The North American Model (NRC model)
McLaughlin's presentation was followed by a multipurpose cadastre model which
was developed by the National Research Council (NRC) in 1983 as a basis for a
multipurpose land information system for North America (see Figure 3-1). The model is
conceptualized as an integrated land information system for both administrative and public
uses. It was developed in response to growing concerns about how foreign land ownership
affects the balance of trade in the United States, land prices, access to farm land by young
farmers, intensity of land use, and community viability (NRC 1980, 12-13). The primary
objective was for land administrators to provide public administrators such as governors,
mayors, as well as Congress with information pertaining to land holdings, distribution and
Figure 3-1: NRC Model for a Multipurpose Cadastre (Highlighted)
Source: NRC (1983)
use within the North American continent. The NRC model identifies the components of a
multipurpose cadastre. A distinction is made between natural land information system and
cultural land information system. The model combines the cultural with the natural land
information system to form the multipurpose land information system. Whereas the cultural
LIS is based on the cadastral parcel boundaries, the natural LIS is based on other natural
boundaries. The two systems are spatially connected by a unifying geodetic reference
framework and the base map with data exchange conventions between the two data types.
The NRC model advocates the use of base maps containing natural and cultural features
. .NATURAL LIS
I IDNTIFIER PARCEL NUMBERS
VARIOUS DATA-EX CHANGE
tied to each other in accordance with the level of accuracy with which the feature was
surveyed. The model proposes a reliance on the mapping standards that have been
established by the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and the
National Mapping Accuracy Standards which were established by the Office of
Management and Budget.
Williamson's model which was also developed with regard to the changing needs of
society, was designed in 1986 for Australia. The model is a centralized cadastral
information system which provides legal cadastral information support for local
government agencies. On the basis that a registration system is integral to the
implementation of the cadastre, Williamson attaches the same level of importance to land
registration as the cadastral overlay. The model attempts to show the importance of the
cadastral map and land registration in the design of a multipurpose land information system,
especially in Australia, where tenure security is guaranteed by the State. Here also the
topographic base map emphasizes the need for the base map on a geodetic reference
framework to ensure spatial consistency. The Williamson model obviously, does not
consider natural resource and environmental records as integral components of a
multipurpose land information system. Besides, the structure is identical to the cultural
LIS component of the NRC model except for the fact that Williamson's model proposes a
land information center as a link between the cadastral database and databases of
independent government authorities are established (Williamson, 1986).
Figure 3-2: Williamson's Multipurpose Land information model
Source: Williamson (1986).
The Developing Country Model
This was developed by Williamson and Jeyanandan in 1990 with particular
reference to developing countries (see Figure 3-3). The model recognizes interaction
between people, land, social groups and cadastre. In this model, block parcels which seem
to be the underlying graphical layer are not tied to any geodetic reference framework.
There is no indication as to how the cadastral map will be registered with other maps
Figure 3-3: Cadastral Model for Developing Countries
Source: Jeyanandan and Williamson (1990)
produced by other agencies. Also this model focuses on cadastre and does not consider
natural features as a component of the land information that will be required by say, the
planning and development agency. The cadastral blocks are designed around the social
groups. Block boundaries, which may be individual communities, form the basic unit of the
cadastral map, and are relatively permanent and identifiable on the ground. Proprietary
land parcels within the blocks are also recognized. According to Jeyanandan and
BLOCK PARCELS PROPRIETARY PARCELS
Williamson (1990, 91), the special features of the model are;
* Boundaries of blocks are relatively permanent, identifiable on the ground and
therefore recognized even without maps.
* Enables preferences for cadastral products through comparison between blocks and
selective education of people, who hold rights within a block.
* Enables evolution of cadastral system and facilitates selective intervention in land
* provides the basis for reorganizing land and other data on a geographical (block)
* Flexibility in, the size of the blocks, use of technology, and cadastral practices.
* Involves very little additional resources but provides for orderly improvement of
cadastral system in keeping with user demands in specific spatial areas.
The Wisconsin Land Information Model
The Wisconsin Land Information Program was initiated in 1985, in response to
demand for information about the land by both the private and public sectors of the
community. A multipurpose land information system for the state of Wisconsin was
established in recognition of the fact that:
a wide variety of land records exist in the form of record books, paper files,
maps, charts, and many other formats.
different land records might be collected at varying levels of detail and
accuracy or might be mapped at different scales (Merideth et al. 1990,
The system was developed to provide among other things, a standard foundation for
accurate geographic referencing of land information. The requirement was an accurate
large scale maps which show small areas in detail. To the committee, details were essential
for decision-making because of their ability to allow comparison of the areas and attribute
of various locations. To a large extent, the Wisconsin model followed the North American
MPLIS(1983) model except that instead of a base map, layers of homogeneous accurately
surveyed graphical layers such as parcels, zoning, flood plains, soils, and registered
together with a geodetic reference framework (NAD83). This approach provided the
option to form composite overlays by integrating layers as needed. For accurate graphical
overlays, Digital Line Graphs (DLGs) of 1:24000 scale and 7.5 minute topographic maps
were initially used with the understanding that more accurate, precise, or detailed
information would be incorporated into the system whenever they become available
(Wisconsin Land Records Committee 1987, 23).
The unique thing about the Wisconsin program is the separation of the layers and
the ability to form composite overlays. However, the need for accurate graphical layers
implies that, for a country like Tanzania, where data have been captured with different
levels of detail and accuracy would necessitate a re-survey of the jurisdiction in order to
obtain a map whose accuracy is uniform across the entire jurisdiction.
Other researchers (Fourie 1993; Davies and Fourie 1996) hold the view that the
model should be dictated by the social structure. Modem cadastral information systems
consist of three parts; a graphical database which contains information that depicts the
subject land, a descriptive part which may be one or more databases containing the list of
proprietors and other descriptive information that are relevant to different operational
agencies, and a linkage mechanism which in most cases is the parcel identifier that links the
graphical and descriptive databases together. Irrespective of the cadastral model,
institutional arrangements and management procedures, organization of these components
affect the usefulness and applicability of the cadastral information.
"The base map is a graphical representation, at a specified scale, of selected
fundamental map information, used as a framework upon which additional data of a
specialized nature may be compiled (NRC 1983, 37)". Within the context of a cadastral
information system, the base map
"... provides a primary medium by which the locations of cadastral parcels can be
related to the geodetic framework; to major natural features such as bodies of
water, roads, buildings, and fences; and to municipal and political boundaries...
(NRC 1983, 39)."
Procedures for capturing and presenting graphical cadastral data as well as for producing
base maps have undergone technological changes. The biggest changes are occurring in
the application of aerial photography for base mapping purposes. Over the years, base
maps have been produced from rectified and unrectified aerial photographs, and digital
maps, in either vector or raster formats. Advances in computer technology are opening
new ways for processing aerial photographs for cadastral purposes, such as soficopy
photogrammetric methods. In the next section, issues related to current spatial data
capture methods are discussed.
Spatial Data Capture
In the past, cadastral boundary data have been captured by traditional ground
survey methods. Equipment for such types of surveys have ranged from the plane table,
tapes and compasses, and transit theodolites to electronic distance measuring (EDM)
devices. Whereas these instruments have not been eliminated completely, Total Stations
and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) technology have become equipment of choice.
Cadastral boundary data are depicted as vector representations of the spatial features.
Aerial photography has gained popularity due to cost and time savings when surveys of
large areas are involved, and also, the fact that photographs enhance the communication of
spatial information. People naturally relate better to information depicted on photographs
than on conventional line and symbol maps. GPS methods have also been used to extend
survey controls so that aerial photography or other ground survey methods can be used to
capture the data. Aerial and other photographic forms of data capture are often converted
into raster representations.
Although spatial accuracy is not the focus of this dissertation, it is worth
mentioning that the ground resolution of pixels in the raster image influences the spatial
accuracy of the features. The use of GPS for cadastral surveying is still in its infancy (see
Barnes and Eckl, 1996), although the results are promising.
In any computerized records system, special techniques are required to define and
uniquely identify the land objects or entities about which data are to be recorded in order to
associate the graphical database with the attribute information. In 1972 the committee on
Compatible Land Identifiers: Problems, Prospects and Payoffs (CLIPPP), noted that parcel
identifiers have to be unique, simple, permanent in utility, flexible, economical and
accessible (Fisher and Moyer, 1973). Recommendations from the CLIPPP committee
included the use of coordinate of the centroid of parcels, the maximum and minimum
values of the Easting and Northing coordinates of the parcel, and the block system,
whereby the blocks are given sequential numbers. The National Research Council of
Canada (1976) identified three methods for unique parcel identification; the hierarchical
system, grid-based identifiers, and hybrid identifiers.
Hierarchical identifiers represent parcel entity identification structure based on
stratified political or administrative units such as Federal, State, County, Town, Ward,
Block, and lots. Other forms of hierarchical structure are the Public Land Survey System
which is used in most of the United States, as well as the Census Tract and Block system.
Grid or graticule system involves the identification of parcel entity based on
geographical or Cartesian coordinate system in a spheroidal or ellipsoidal system. The
centroid or the maximum and minimum coordinates of the boundaries are used as the grid
identifier. The disadvantage is that, as the coordinates are adjusted occasionally due to
improved measurement technology and better mathematical model for the shape of the
Earth, the identifiers would have to be corrected with every modification of the coordinates.
The min-max approach also assumes that all parcels will be rectangular in shape.
For a hexagonally-shaped parcel however, the min-max coordinates will lie in someone
else's property. The same situation may occur for an L-shaped parcel if the coordinates of
the centroid of the parcel is used as the identifier.
The NRC (1983), considered name-related, alphanumeric and location-based
identifiers. Name-related identifiers associate individual names and the legal entities over
which their interests exist. The grantee-grantor index is an example of such association.
Ignoring the fact that duplicate names are common in many jurisdictions, name-related
identifiers require that identifiers be changed whenever an interest in the parcel gets
Whereas there is no dominant choice for a unique parcel identifier, computer
technology and database management systems facilitate the use of multiple indexes for a
multi-purpose land information system. As noted by NRC (1983, 64), the ultimate choice
for a parcel identifier should be dictated by local needs and resources such as the need for
accessibility and effective management of the identifiers. In this regard, uniqueness,
simplicity and economy of maintenance are more important. Since the CLIPPP conference,
different jurisdictions such as Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward counties in Florida, have
developed suitable, yet independent, parcel identifiers internally.
One of the responsibilities for Land Information Management personnel, is to
integrate the graphical record with descriptive information from other databases. The
technology for maintaining and manipulating database has been undergoing evolutionary
changes since the early 1960s. In this section, databases that are currently operational as
well as those that are in developmental stages are presented. Their applicability to land
information management and analysis are discussed in order to justify a suitable choice of
database technology for the Tanzania project.
The evolution of modem data organization methodologies began in the early 1960s
with the development of System Design Life cycles (SDLC) (Lee, 1997). Such systems
provided some control over the organization of the data but limited assistance with regard
to analytical operations (Rhine, 1995). Data were stored in flat files, hierarchical files,
network files, etc. Structured methodologies which evolved in the 1970s provided more
effective analytical tools and extended design methodologies. These were achieved by
structuring the data into elemental forms and focusing on the modeling of entities and data.
Codd's (1970; 1979) relational model, along with the structured query language (SQL)
gained support because it provided LIS users with query capabilities which were not
available before. The logical structuring of the data determined the degree of flexibility
within the system. However, the inherent deficiencies in the relational database model and
entity relationship concept influenced the object-oriented methodologies of the 1990s
Object-oriented technology is regarded as the cutting-edge approach for data
modeling, analysis and software design (Lee 1997). The object-oriented principle is based
on the assumption that people generally think in terms of objects rather than entities or
functions. Objects are direct representations of real things that people perceive when
communicating or describing characteristics of entities or things (Yourdon 1994; Usery
1996). The object-oriented principle incorporate the inheritance and encapsulation
characteristics of data into an integrated whole (Yourdon 1994). Despite the power of
object-oriented technology, very few software packages have been developed to harness
the capabilities of the technology. Below is a description of the data file formats that are
currently in use for LIS operations and their advantages.
Flat files are traditional "spread-sheet type" systems without full database
management support. Flat files contain tabulated data in rows and columns. The rows
contain the records and the columns represent the fields or items. Ordering of the rows
within the table has importance for the ways in which data can be accessed. Data retrieval
is done by means of search keys which index the occurrence of values for a specific field.
Any item (column) within the table can be used as the search key. Searches within the
table may be done sequentially, by binary search, or by index search. The efficiency of
sequential search depends on the location of the record which is being searched. If the
search key is changed to another item within the table, the table has to be sorted again with
the new key.
A faster, yet resource intensive, method is the Indexed search which relies on a
separate index table to search for records. A separate table containing the key of every
record as well as an address pointing to the data location of each key is associated with the
data. The index is sequenced and the search is done on the index rather than the data itself.
Because the index table is smaller than the table of data itself, searching of records is faster.
Even though early LIS implementation used Flat files to associate the graphical
overlays, Flat files are severely limited in their utility to LIS applications due to their limited
flexibility. They are simple and efficient for specific repetitive tasks such as transaction-
based information (e.g. in the retail industry and banking activities).
Hierarchical database system works like a "family tree" relationship. With
hierarchical files there is always more than one record in the file. One record is the
"parent" or master, and it can be associated with any number of "children" or detail records
through internally assigned pointers. The detail records can also have children assigned to
them. This establishes a one-to-many relationships among the files. The advantage of this
system is that it allows multiple sets of identical attributes to be associated with any given
record without storing those repetitive data in separate files. Linking of files is done with
pointers which provides some flexibility in relating data between records. One major
limitation with the hierarchical file system is the fact that data in the detail record can only
be accessed by first accessing the master record.
An improvement to hierarchical files are the Networked databases which allow
detail records to be accessed with more than one master record. This establishes a many-
to-many relationship between the files. The advantage is that if any record needs to be
updated, it can be done on only one file. The drawbacks to the networks are as follows:
* Logical linkages among files multiply as new databases are added to the system.
* In complex networks involving large databases, the amount of storage required for
the pointers can be larger than the database itself.
* Management of the pointers, as records are added, new fields created, and linkages
created as data values change can become cumbersome and in danger of being
The relational database concept was developed by Codd in 1970 (Date 1991, xi;
Healey 1991, 257). The concept is based on the mathematical theory of relational algebra.
Relational databases allow related records from different tables to be associated without the
use of pointers. Relationships are established through common items within the structure
of the tables. Values in a column or columns in one table are matched to corresponding
values in the column or set of columns in another table. From the second table another set
of matching tables will be associated. The linking continues until all the databases have
been joined. In order to prevent data redundancy in the relational system due to the
commonality of items in the relations, relational designs follow Codd's theory of normal
forms (Healey 1991, 258-259) which specifies that:
1. All tables must contain rows and columns and atomicity (i.e. no repeating groups of
data) should be enforced among values within columns.
2. Every column which is not a part of the primary key must be fully dependent on the
3. Every primary key must be non-transitively dependent on the primary key.
Normalization. The join mechanism matches column values between tables using
the common item. Normalization of the relational system is based on the principle that a
set, as mathematically defined, cannot have duplicate values. Since a table is a set, it
cannot have rows whose entire contents are duplicated. In addition, each row must be
different from any other. It follows that the values in a single column or a combination of
values in multiple columns can be used to define a primary key for the table. No column
that is part of a primary key can have null values since this could have the potential for
permitting duplicate values. Healey (1991) lists the advantages of the relational databases
1. Rigorous design based on sound theoretical foundation.
2. All other forms of database structures can be reduced to a set of relational
tables, so they are most general form of data representation.
3. Almost unlimited flexibility in forming relationships among data items
without the limitation of linkage management.
4. Ease of use and implementation compared to other types of systems.
5. Modifiability which allows new tables and new rows of data within the
tables to be added without difficulty.
6. Flexibility in ad hoc data retrieval because of the relational join mechanism
and powerful SQL facilities (Healey 1991, 259)."
Due to the volume of data that may be associated with a typical Land Information System,
Database Management Systems (DBMS) have become integral to LIS. Data modeling
techniques, such as entity-relationship model, have become the key element in designing
spatial databases. The Relational model has dominated LIS database applications due to the
design of commercial software to harness the advantages of the relational construct over
older models such as inverted lists, hierarchical files and networked files. The relational
database model with the Structured Query Language (SQL) was chosen system for
Tanzania. It is recognized at this stage that as the object-oriented technology gains
popularity among land information managers, the land administrators might change to the
In the next chapter, attention will be focused on the administrative arrangements
which support land management activities in Tanzania. A study of these arrangements as
well as data processing procedures will be analyzed in order to develop approaches for
modernizing the cadastral records and implementing land information system for Tanzania.
EXISTING CADASTRAL ARRANGEMENTS IN TANZANIA
Following the discussion on land management taxonomy in Chapter 2, where
typical land administration agencies were identified together with the necessary information
support systems, a review of current issues in the data capture and management activities
were discussed in Chapter 3. This chapter deals with the land management arrangements in
Tanzania, the responsibilities of the established agencies, and their data capture and data
management procedures. In this chapter, problems with existing land management
arrangements and procedures are identified. A study of the history of Tanzania reveals that
some of the problems associated with the Tanzania land delivery process can be traced to
colonial times. A brief review of the evolutionary process of the current land tenure system
in Tanzania has been given in Appendix B. Approaches are developed in the subsequent
chapters to eliminate or reduce the impact of the problems.
At the State and regional levels, land management administration in Tanzania is
handled by the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD). At the
local level, the responsibility falls on the Ministry of local government. Reorganization of
land records in Tanzania required a study of the land management arrangements that have
been instituted by the government. This study was accomplished through field visits to
thirteen of the twenty regional capitals and interviews with land administration officials in
both the regional and local government offices. The study focused on the legal instrument
and operational guidelines that defined objectives and responsibilities, organizational
arrangements for meeting those objectives, and data capture, storage and processing
methods, record management practices, and information dissemination, both internally and
with other agencies. The responsibilities of agencies that operate on a national level were
compared with those that operate on a local level, in an effort to identify overlapping or
conflicting responsibilities between agencies. The results of this study provided the basis for
the land record reorganization approach and data processing methods. In order to
understand the land management arrangements in Tanzania, the administrative
arrangements within which land management activities are described.
Administrative Arrangements within Tanzania
Tanzania is divided into 20 administrative regions (see Table 4-1), each region
having a capital city. For administrative purposes, the city of Dar es Salaam, which is the
national capital is also a region by itself. So is Dodoma, the proposed State capital which
will replace Dar es Salaam once the infrastructure development has been completed.
Table 4-1: Administrative Regions in Tanzania
Dar es Salaam Arusha Mtwara Kigoma Iringa
Coast Tanga Lindi Mara Rukwa
Morogoro Dodoma Mwanza Shinyanga Ruvuma
Moshi Singida Kagera Mbeya Tabora
Each region has offices for regional planning, surveying and mapping, land and title
registry. However, all major land management decisions concerning all the regions are
made in Dar es Salaam, except Dodoma which by legislation, has autonomy in land
At the national level, the Ministry of Land, Housing, and Urban Development is
responsible for land planning, allocation, title processing and registration, property
valuation and assessment, and legal issues in land within Tanzania. These responsibilities
are handled by the Urban Development, Surveys and Mapping and Land Development,
Valuation and Legal divisions in the Ministry (see Figure 4-1). Sections with specific
responsibilities have been described below.
Organizational Arrangements within MLHUD
The Urban Development Division
The Urban Development Division currently operates under the Tanzanian Town
and Country Planning Act of 1956, which was revised in 1961. The Division is responsible
for defining and planning the use of all public land in Tanzania. Activities of this Division
include planning redevelopment areas, renewal of blighted urban areas, re-designation of
land use, and monitoring of development to ensure compliance with the development
program in accordance with master plans of cities. The division is headed by a Director of
Urban Development. The Director of Urban Development approves all town and village
layout plans prior to implementation. The Urban Development Division has five main
^.-.. ..-------. --._. -- .-.- -. --.- .- -- -
I Urban Design Urban land I
and Research CadastralDevelopment
Master Plans Topographic Rural land
and Geodetic Development I
Sites and Village and Land Registry
Urban Dev. Map
Control e Production Legal
Village Land Vaation
-use SECTIONS :
Figure 4-1: Organizational Chart of MLHUD
sections which are the Urban Design and Research, Urban Development Control, Master
Plan, Village Land Use Plan, and Sites and Services sections.
The Urban Design and Research section. This section is headed by a senior
principal town planner. The responsibilities of this section include planning redevelopment
areas (such as the central areas of Dar es Salaam), renewal of blighted urban areas, and
controlling the layout designs of the city. In addition, staff within this section conduct
research and designate high-, medium-, and low-density development areas. Classification
of development areas is based on socioeconomic studies of the communities within the
area. The result of the study becomes the basis for setting the size of individual lots within
the proposed area. High-density areas consist of small plots for low income people. The
parcels are usually 400 square meters in size. Medium-density plots are slightly larger with
sizes ranging between 400 and 800 square meters. Low-density classification is for
residential areas for high-income people. The plot sizes are between 800 and 1600 square
meters. The size of the land allocated for industrial use varies depending on the intended
The Master Plans Section. This is the section where master plans are prepared. It
is the policy of the government of Tanzania, to have five-year development plans for all
rapidly growing urban areas in Tanzania. The development plans are graphical layouts
showing the allocation of land for various uses in accordance with the rate of expansion of
the city. The development plans are referred to as the master plans. The Urban Planning
Division schedules the areas to be planned in accordance with available funds however,
councils within fast growing municipalities can request priority consideration for physical
planning of their community. In such circumstances, the municipal councils provide some
of the cost of preparing the master plans
Currently, there are up-to-date master plans for all major cities except Dar es
Salaam which was last prepared in 1979. The reason for failing to update the master plans
for Dar es Salaam is purely it cost which would require a large proportion of the resources
of the Division. This implies that the master plans of other cities will not be updated for
The Sites and Services Section. The main activities of the sites and services
section are for planning of squatter settlements, ensure that basic infrastructure such as
roads and water are available to the residents of those settlements, and that development
plans are carried out according to the design. Activities performed by this section are multi-
disciplinary and not restricted to planning. This section operates on a project-by-project
basis. The activities of the section are concentrated in Dar es Salaam.
Urban Development Control Section. This section ensures that development
agencies adhere to the existing master plans and to ensure that the local councils operate
within the development program. The section is responsible for resolving all land conflicts,
including those that emanate as a result of planning or allocation. The Urban Development
Control section stipulates development conditions and declares areas as ready for urban
development. This section ensures that the local councils operate within the guidelines of
the development program. The section also supervises the preparation of designs for urban
towns. In the regions, the urban town plans are prepared by the municipal councils, but the
development control section ensures that the designs conform with the set standards. The
section may recommend a change in land use for any particular area. Such changes are
recommended to the director and have to be approved by the minister for lands.
Village Land Use Section. The Village Land Use Section assists regional planning
officers in preparing village land-use plans.
The Survey and Mapping Division
The Surveys and Mapping Division provides survey services to government
agencies, maintains a geodetic survey control network, and prepares and maintains
cadastral and topographic mapping statewide. The Director of Surveys is responsible for
coordinating all public sector mapping activities and for maintaining records of all maps,
plans and surveys completed by government agencies. As shown in Figure 4-1, the
Division has four sections that deal with various aspects of surveying. The sections are
cadastral, topographic and geodetic, village and hydrographic, and mapping. There is a
survey department in each of the twenty regions in Tanzania. Although the regional
surveyors are responsible for the cadastral surveys within their regions, all surveys must be
checked in Dar es Salaam before they are accepted. This is a major bottleneck in the data
processing procedures within the Division. Surveyors are required to submit their field
notes, computation sheets, and a plot of the survey to Dar es Salaam for checking. A six-
man field computation checking team in Dar es Salaam has the responsibility of checking
survey work from the regions. For a timely computation checking process, the regions in
Tanzania have been divided into six zones and a technician is responsible for each zone.
The Cadastral Section. The cadastral section deals with demarcation of plots in
accordance to town planning drawings. These are physical layout plans for a development
area. The cadastral section is responsible for the custody of all original field survey records
and checking of computations of surveys from the regions. The demarcation layout from
the Urban Development division is submitted to the cadastral section on a base map which
may or may not be current. In laying out the demarcation, the surveyor has the authority to
change the design if he or she encounters any obstacles, such as existing houses or roads
that conflict with the town planning design. The surveyor lays out the plots as closely as
possible to the town planning design, but resolves conflicting issues on site. He or she then
surveys the comer monuments to obtain final coordinates. Staff at the computation unit
check all control surveys and demarcation surveys for computational and drafting errors
and recommend approval or rejection by the Director of Surveys. Deed plans of individual
plots are prepared from approved survey plans after the lots have been allocated.
The Topographic and Geodetic Section is responsible for all survey projects that
are related with national mapping and the establishment and densification of national
geodetic control network. The section is further divided into four units:
1. The geodetic surveys unit is responsible for planning, monumentation, surveying,
documenting, and maintaining national geodetic control points. The national
geodetic controls are first order, second order, third order, and precise leveling for
national vertical bench marks. The section has not executed any control extensions
for many years. Planimetric control densification is currently conducted by
cadastral surveyors whenever they need to extend control to a project site. Besides
that, no precise leveling has been done in several years.
2. The topographical survey unit is also responsible for all topographic surveys,
national mapping, and for providing data for the production of cadastral base maps
and national maps at various scales.
3. The international boundary surveys unit maintains the national boundary
monuments and is also responsible for resolving national boundary disputes.
4. The stores and equipment unit is responsible for logistics. The unit purchases
survey equipment, stores and maintains surveying instruments and camping
equipment for the topographical and geodetic section. The unit is responsible for
keeping stock of stationery, such as field survey forms and other materials needed
by other sections for performing their normal tasks.
Village and Hydrographic Surveys Section. The village mapping section was
established in 1970 in response to the government's desire to institute village governments
that would be the nuclei of national planning and development. The Village and Ujamaa
Act of 1975 required that village boundaries be known. One of the responsibilities of the
village and hydrographic section is to demarcate and establish village boundaries so that
title may be issued to the village committees. The section is headed by a senior surveyor
who is responsible for the planning, coordinating, and monitoring of the implementation of
village mapping projects.
Village mapping activities involve a series of seminars with the residents of the
village that have has been earmarked for mapping. The rationale of the seminars is to
educate the villagers on the intent and purpose of the demarcation survey and for the
surveyors to learn about their customary land tenure system in order to ensure that
residents are not unduly dispossessed of their property. The village mapping team uses
1:50,000 base maps and aerial photographs to map out village boundaries. The team visits
the boundary marker (if one exists) or establishes a boundary identifier at the position that
is mutually accepted by the representatives of the adjoining villages. The photo interpreters
identify the boundary marker in the photograph or its location (if the point is not on the
photograph). A number is given to the point and a textual description of its location is
made. In the office, a map is produced by photogrammetric methods and submitted to the
director of surveys for checking and approval.
Map production section. This is the section that is responsible for the
cartographic production of thematic, topographic and special purpose maps and atlases.
Maps of all categories, with the exception of the 1:50,000 scale-map series, are produced
by the staff in this section. The 1:50,000 scale-map series are normally contracted to
overseas contractors such as the Ordinance Survey of The United Kingdom or Kenting
Surveys of Canada.
Land Development Division
The Land Development Division deals with allocation of parcels, preparation and
issuance of titles, valuation and assessment of properties, registration of titles and
encumbrances, and resolution of disputes involving ownership. Responsibilities and
activities within this Division are regulated by the Land Ordinance (Chapter 113) and the
Land Registration Ordinance (Chapter 334) of the laws of Tanzania. These laws declare
all lands to be under the control and subject to the disposition of the president.
Some of the powers of the President to administer the land have been passed to the
Minister for Lands and subsequently, to the Commissioner for Land. Government Notice
124 of March 22, 1963 extends the power of disposition to land officers. In the office of
the commissioner for lands, specific land officers have been assigned the responsibility to
The Land Development Division has five sections (see Figure 4-1). The division
deals with all public land administration matters in Tanzania. The division is headed by a
commissioner for lands, whose responsibility it is, to approve all land allocations and to
endorse all certificates of occupancy. The commissioner's office maintains records of all
land transactions that pass through the Land Development Division. There is, therefore, an
open registry where records of all transactions relating to lands in Tanzania are kept. There
are five main sections in the Land Development Division; urban land development, rural
land development, land registry, legal, and valuations sections.
Urban Land Development Section. This section handles all matters relating to
urban land including;
preparation of Certificate of Occupancy in urban areas;
processing of land allocations that are made from the commissioner's office;
resolution of ownership dispute; and
approves transfers, mortgages, and leases that last longer than five years.
Rural Land Development Section. The Rural Land Development section has the
same responsibilities as the Urban Land Development Section, but with regard to rural
areas. In addition, this section deals with matters concerning the allocation of land for large
farms, the processing of village titles, rights of occupancies in village areas, trading areas,
The Land Registry is headed by the registrar of titles, who is responsible for all the
titles that are issued in the country. For land registration purposes, Tanzania is divided into
six zones. Each zone has a registry that is headed by an assistant registrar. Zonal registries
are located in Dar es Salaam, Moshi, Mbeya, Mwanza, Mtwara, and Dodoma (see Table 4-
2). This grouping is inconsistent with the grouping at the Surveys and Mapping Division.
The zonal registrars have the mandate to register titles within their zones. The
Table 4-2: Land Registration zones in Tanzania
(Zonal headquarters in italics)
Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6
Dar es Salaam Moshi Dodoma Mtwara Mwanza Mbeya
Coast Arusha Singida Lindi Kagera Rukwa
Morogoro Tanga Kigoma Ruvuma
responsibilities of the registrars has been clearly defined in the Land Registration Ordinance
(Chapter 334) of the laws of Tanzania. Three classes of documents can be registered at
the land registry: Certificate of Occupancy, land-related transactions, and collateral.
Chapter 334 of the Tanzanian laws lists 33 items that may be registered. Of these, 21 have
so far been submitted for registration. Some of the items submitted for registration include
acquisition of Right of Occupancy, caveat, registration as legal personal representative,
change of ownership, change of name, deed of variation, mortgage, revocation of right of
occupancy, and land transfer. After the commissioner has endorsed the certificate of title,
the document is sent to the zonal registries for the title to be issued. There are two systems
for registering certificates of occupancy--the "old system" and the "new system." Both
systems are described later in this chapter, but it will be mentioned at this point that the
major differences between the two systems are the numbering system and the filing method.
The Legal Section. It is the responsibility of the legal section to review all the
land laws of Tanzania, identify loop holes, and conflicting areas of the law. The legal
section recommends modifications to the attorney general. The activities of the legal
section include the preparation of deeds of variation, deeds of surrender, and deeds of
rectification. In addition, the legal section prepares the background information and
strategy for defense in all land-related legal actions brought against the Ministry and to
coordinate with the attorney general in the defense of the Ministry. One of the legal
actions the section handles includes claims for annulment of revocations of certificates of
occupancy that were made between 1971 and 1992 that were signed by the minister for
lands. The legal standpoint is that the minister did not have the mandate to sign those
revocations. According to the law, only the president can revoke an allocation of land.
Other cases include resolution of legal action instituted as a result of double allocation and
failure to follow the correct procedure either for revocation or reallocation.
The Valuation Section. For first time allocations, a land assessment report is
required to establish the fee to be paid by the applicant upon acceptance of the offer from
the allocating committee. It is the responsibility of the valuation section to assesses the land
rent. Actual property valuation is done to establish the value of improvement or develop-
ments that have been carried out on the land when the values are needed for compensation,
mortgage, transfer, or the determination of rental charges on a house. The procedure for
assessing rent for first time allocations id described later in this chapter.
The City Council of Dar Es Salaam
The City Council is a completely independent authority that operates under the
Local Government Act (1982) to develop and manage the resources within the city. The
council operates under the Minister for Local Government. This enables the City Council
to operate independently of the Ministry for Lands, Housing and Urban Development. The
Dar es Salaam City Council has jurisdiction over three districts; Ilala, Temeke, and
Kinondoni. Each district has a district lands officer. The City Council has its own land
surveyors, town planners, valuers, architects, and land officers who operate independent of
the Ministry of Land Housing and Urban Development. However, the town planning
drawings that are prepared for demarcation have to be approved by the director of urban
development before allocation can begin. The City Council maintains and updates its own
set of standard sheets (1:2500 scale maps), which the council uses as base maps for the
preparation of town planning drawings.
The Local Government Act (1982) authorizes the City Council to establish the
requisite administrative divisions to enable the council to function efficiently and
effectively. The City Council is guided by the policies of the Ministry of Lands, Housing
and Urban Development. Although the functions of the two ministries are clearly defined,
there seems to be overlapping responsibilities. The effect is that the two ministries
sometimes have different views on the resolution of certain problems that are associated
with land administration.
Existing Land Delivery Process
Land Delivery in Tanzania is done in two stages. The first stage(see Figure 4-2),
which is referred to as survey and demarcation, deals with subdivision of the land, physical
demarcation and monumentation of the parcel boundaries, and survey of the parcels.
briefly, the process begins with a request from the Commissioner for Lands. Layout plans,
depicting how the designated area should be subdivided, are prepared by the Urban
Development Division. The Surveys and Mapping division is responsible for demarcation,
monumentation and survey of the parcels. In places where the land has never been sub-
divided before, adjudication precedes survey and demarcation, to establish ownership and
rights to the use of the property. Upon successful checking and approval process, copies of
the subdivision plan are passed to the relevant offices including an allocation committee
Figure 4-2: Survey and Demarcation
which uses the map to allocate the individual parcels to applicants. The existing base maps
are updated with the new information.
The second stage involves allocation of the parcels to applicants, titling and
registration of the certificate of title (see Figure 4-3). It is the responsibility of the allocation
committee to assign the plots to successful applicants. The Land Development
Division is responsible for preparing and registering the certificate of occupancy. After
allocation has been done, certificates are prepared and sent to the Commissioner for Lands
who appends his seal to the title and endorses each certificate for authentication. The
I n Plans
1_ Update existing
Figure 4-3: Allocation, Titling and Registration
certificate is finally registered by the Registrar of Titles. Copies of the registered documents
are then given to the respective owners.
Survey and Demarcation
The process begins with the town planner preparing the layout (which is referred to
as "town planning drawing") in accordance with the development phases of the master plan.
This is done using the base map of the area of interest. Normally, the town planners should
request the survey division for a current base map. In most cases, the base maps are so old
that it is a major task just to update them.
When the town planning drawing has been completed, the local Development
Committee has to approve and accept the layout. Upon acceptance, the plan is sent to the
director of urban planning for approval. A sepia copy of the approved layout is sent to the
region and the original is kept in Dar es Salaam.
A print of the town planning drawing is submitted to the Survey Division with a
request for demarcation. The task is assigned to a staff surveyor and execution is done in
accordance with survey instructions. The survey instructions are normally issued either by
the director of surveys or his representative. After demarcation, the layout is surveyed. Field
notes and computation results are submitted to the regional surveyor, who checks the work
and sends the completed results to the director of surveys for approval. The director of
surveys checks and approves the survey. Prints of the completed plan are made and
distributed to the relevant offices. The field notes become the property of the government. A
copy of the town planning drawing is sent to the regional lands officer who requested the
survey and demarcation. The print received by the regional lands officer is used by the
Allocating Committee to distribute plots to applicants.
Allocation and Registration
The land officer prepares a list of applicants who qualify to be considered for
allocation. There is a committee that has the responsibility for allocating lands in every
district and every town. The list is submitted to the committee that allocates the plots to the
applicants. In Dar es Salaam, there are three allocating agencies. These are the office of the
commissioner for lands, the urban planning committee, and land officers (under Government
Notice 124 of March 22, 1963). As there are always more applicants than available plots,
there is a genuine desire on the part of most members of the allocating committees to
distribute the land fairly. In most regions and districts, allocations are done on a first-in-first-
out basis. It is, however, difficult to overlook the request of a superior or a politician.
Once allocation has been done, the regional land officer requests the valuation office
for an assessment of land rent. There are criteria for assessing the rent for first-time
allocations. The valuation officer calculates the appropriate rent and prepares a report. The
regional valuation officer checks the figures and approves if everything is correct.
The land officer prepares a letter of offer that is sent to successful applicants. The letter
details the fees that need to be paid and the development conditions for that piece of land.
Some of the fees are to be paid at the land office while the other fees have to be paid
at the Inland Revenue office. The applicants are supposed to take the evidence of such
payments to the Land Officer, even though in most regions the Letter of Offer does not
mention it. The land officer prepares the Certificate of Occupancy and requests a cadastral
plan from the Surveys Division only when the advice of payments have been presented to
him. The cadastral plan is attached to the Certificate of Occupancy. The applicant signs the
Certificate of Occupancy before a land officer, a magistrate, or a commissioner of oaths.
The document is finally sent to the commissioner for lands (in Dar es Salaam) for checking
At the office of the commissioner for lands, the certificate and all the relevant
documents are checked. Those that are found to contain errors are sent to the reception
desk pending further communication with the regional land development officer who
submitted the certificate. Certificates that are free from errors are stamped with the
commissioner's seal of approval and sent to the commissioner for signature. The documents
are finally returned to the zonal registry office of the region where the plot is situated, after
the commissioner for lands has approved the certificate and the statistics section has
extracted the necessary information from the documents.
The zonal registrar checks for any conflict of ownership, the correctness of the deed
plan, and anything that is required under Chapter 334 of the Laws of Tanzania. In the
absence of any adverse claims or reasons for objection, the title is registered.
Cadastral Surveying Processes within Divisions
Surveying and Mapping Division
The procedure for executing a cadastral survey in a rural area is slightly different
from the method that is used for urban surveys. Surveys in the rural areas are mainly for
physical demarcation of village boundaries, whereas urban cadastral survey are for plot
demarcation and survey. They both start with survey instructions from the office of the
director of surveys and mapping or any person appointed by him. In the regions, the survey
instruction may be written by the regional surveyor. The survey instructions contain the
coordinates of existing survey controls that may be used to connect and control the new
survey as well as a sketch of the area to be surveyed.
Survey of Rural Areas. The survey instructions contain details such as the location
and the shape of the land to be surveyed. Adjudication between neighboring communities is
done at the time of demarcation to ascertain the mutually accepted position of the village
boundaries. Sometimes it is found that the sketch that is attached to the director's
instructions is different from what the village communities perceive to be their boundaries.
In such circumstances, the boundaries as perceived by the communities are adopted.
Until recently, a photogrammetric method was used to demarcate village boundaries.
Using a 1:50,000 scale map and aerial photographs, the boundaries are identified and
marked on the photos. Photogrammetric methods are used to coordinate the boundary
markers and to produce maps. In situations where conventional theodolite traversing
method is used, accuracy requirements for village demarcations are 15 minutes of arc for
angular disclosure and 1:5000 in linear disclosure.
Surveys of urban lands are often for physical demarcation and survey of parcels.
The request for survey is preceded by an approved town planning drawing. The
commissioner for lands or his representative makes a request to the director of surveys and
mapping, who in turn, issues survey instructions. The survey instructions are either sent to
the Regional Survey Offices or to licensed survey firms. Requests for surveys may also be
made in the regions by the regional land development officer to the regional surveyor. The
survey instructions constitute an express authority for the land surveyor to enter upon the
land with his or her field assistants to carry out the survey.
Procedure for Carrying out Cadastral Survey. The field surveyor studies the layout
and identifies the location from an index map. Any existing cadastral control points in or
around the neighborhood are identified. Coordinates, reports, descriptions, and any relevant
information pertaining to the controls are extracted from files. All preliminary computations
needed to commence the survey task are done in advance prior to the actual field work.
The field procedure for setting out the parcels involves demarcation of the block
comers first. Measurements are made to ensure that the block comers have been located as
accurately as required in the survey instruction. A traverse is run to coordinate the block
comers. The traverse is computed to ensure that the positions of the points are within
acceptable misclosures. In urban areas, the allowable angular disclosure is 30n' seconds of
arc, where n represents the number of stations. Allowable linear disclosure is 1:6000.
Traverse adjustment is by the Bowditch method.
Setting out individual plots in a high- and medium-density area is done by extending
a steel tape horizontally straight along the line between two block comer points and driving
iron pins into the ground at the points where plot comers should be. Concrete mortar is
poured around the pins to make them more permanent.
In the case of low-density plots, the sides are measured rigorously and corrected for
slope, temperature, and where applicable, sag correction. Plot comers are marked with
concrete monuments and numbered sequentially. Such numbers are also shown on the
cadastral plans. In the office, the field notes are checked by re-computing all the data to
make sure that there are no errors. The surveyed plots are finally drafted. The original field
notes, computation sheets, and plan are sent to the director of surveys and mapping for
further checking and subsequent acceptance. A job that meets the required standards is
accepted and approved by the director. Field notes and all accompanying documents
become the property of the government.
In most cases where the survey instructions have been followed and proper survey
procedures applied, the resulting survey has been within acceptable tolerances and the job
has been accepted. Occasionally, the survey work has been rejected. In such situations, the
director of surveys and mapping requests that the work be done again.
Rejection of Cadastral Survey Job. Some of the reasons for rejecting a survey
failure to follow the survey instructions
failure to conform with the layout as shown on the town planning drawing
without adequate reasons;
failure to comply with accuracy requirements, either as specified in the
survey instructions, the Surveyors Regulations, or technical circulars;
survey work extending over or overlapping an existing survey; or
non-maintenance of road parallelism.
Relative accuracies of the cadastral control points. Different methodologies have
been applied at different times in different parts of the country during survey control
densification. Four different approaches have been used to establish survey controls;
triangulation method, the use of theodolites and Electronic Distance Measuring (EDM)
instruments, theodolites and invar tapes, and lately, global positioning system (GPS)
methods. Each of the methods has inherent levels of accuracy. Surveyors in both the public
and private sectors expressed the need to readjust the survey control network and obtain
unified coordinate values for all the control points as well as established levels of accuracy
between the different measuring processes.
New settlements usually start from the edge of the road and extended inland, away
from the road. In demarcating plots, the procedure has been to use controls points from the
edge of the road and close on other points along the same road. The controls that were
established during one cadastral survey were used as starting and closing controls for
subsequent surveys. This has been the procedure for extending cadastral controls especially
in the urban areas. By doing that, the errors in one cadastral survey got carried over to
Over the years, different disclosure levels have increased between different town
subdivision blocks along different roads. In the current situation, it is not recommended to
start a survey project from controls derived from a particular road and close on controls that
have been established from a different road, due to the possibility of having unacceptable
disclosures. In Dar es Salaam, misclosures of about two meters have been observed in
certain areas. This may translate to a fraction of a millimeter on a 1:2500 base map, but
unacceptable for cadastral survey by the Director of Survey.
Land survey and demarcation within Dar es Salaam. The procedure for
demarcating and allocating land begins with a request for a planning scheme by the city
planner. A request is made for a base map (1:2500 map) of the area to be planned from the
surveys section of the council. The base map is updated by the town planners using steel
tape and compass. The proposed layout is done on the updated base map. This becomes the
town planning drawing. After the town planning drawing has been prepared, the Urban
Planning Committee reviews the design and recommends whatever changes that the
committee might consider necessary.
The design is adopted when both the Urban Planning Committee and the city
planner's office are satisfied. The drawing is then sent to the Director of Urban Development
for approval. At the director's office, the drawing is taken through the normal checking
procedures, including ensuring that the design conforms with the land use scheme as shown
in the master plan of the area. Once the design has been accepted as conforming with the
master plan, the drawing is approved by the director on behalf of the Minister for Lands and
returned to the City Council for implementation.
The land surveyors at the City Council demarcate the land according to the design.
Survey field sheets, computation sheets, and a list of the coordinates are sent to the Director
of surveys and mapping for checking. The office of the director of surveys checks the
quality of the reference controls that were used for the survey, the method of survey, the
computations, and the misclosures of the traverses.
If the results are within the required standards of accuracy, then individual plot num-
bers are assigned. Otherwise, the drawing is returned to the city land surveyor's office for a
resurvey. Having assigned unique numbers to all the individual lots, copies of the plan are
distributed to various departments, including the city planner, city land surveyor, and the
city lands officer. The city land surveyor's copy is used to update the 1:2500 standard
sheets that are maintained in the office. Another copy is archived for future reference. The
copy that goes to the city lands officer is used to allocate the plots to applicants.
Land allocation. In Dar es Salaam, allocation of plots is done by the Urban
Planning Committee. The copy of the subdivision plan that is sent to the Commissioner for
lands is meant to serve, among other things, a notice to the fact that the parcels have already
been allocated. Sometimes the notice gets delayed to the extent that the commissioner's
office inadvertently allocates that same plot to other applicants. Genuine mistakes of this
kind are easily noticed when the owners commence registration of the certificate of
Requests for land under Certificate of Occupancy may be submitted to the district
land officer or the city lands officer. Requests received by the district lands officer are
forwarded to the city lands officer. All requests are compiled by the city lands officer and
submitted to the Urban Planning Committee. The Planning Committee meets to allocate the
plots to the applicants. Allocation is supposed to be done in the order in which they are
received (i.e., on a first come, first served basis). After the committee has made the
allocations, the city lands officer requests an assessment of each of the newly allocated
Upon receipt of the assessment information, the city lands officer prepares letters of
offer and sends copies to each of the applicants whose request was approved. The letter of
offer contains the terms of the offer, the fees that need to be paid, and the time within which
to pay the required amounts. Each letter of offer is prepared in quadruplicate. The original
goes to the applicant and copies sent to the commissioner for lands and the city lands
officer. The last copy is kept in a file at the District Land Office where the letter was
The recipient normally has 30 days from the date of the letter to accept the offer and
pay the relevant fees. After accepting the offer, the recipient also has three years to develop
the plot in accordance with the intended use (e.g., by constructing a house on it).
Property Valuation and Rent Assessment
As mentioned earlier, it is the responsibility of the valuation section to assess the
land rent. Assessment is done after an offer has been accepted. The land officer submits a
request to the valuer for land rent assessment for each parcel of land before the letters of
offer are sent to the applicants. As shown in Figure 4-4, the request for valuation is
submitted in the form of a letter to the chief valuer who records the description of the
property, the plot number, location of the property, the purpose of the valuation, and the
date of the application. The chief valuer then passes the file to a valuation officer for action.
Figure 4-4: Schematic Diagram of the Procedure for Assessing Property
The valuation officer asks the registry section to create a file for the job. A valuation number
is then assigned.
The file is returned to the valuation officer once a file number has been assigned. The
valuation officer then schedules a visit to the site of the property and collects the necessary
information. Subsequently, a report is written in which a value is assigned to the property.
The report is submitted to the chief valuer for checking and approval. Unless there are
obvious mistakes requiring a return to the valuation officer for amendments, the chief valuer
approves the valuation report. The fees for valuation are based on the assessed value of the
property and the direct costs of trips to the site. Upon payment of the required fees, the
report is given to the client and a copy is kept at the lands records office.
Certificate of Occupancy
The request for a Certificate of Occupancy may be presented by an individual, the
regional land officer (in the case of requests from the regions) or the city land officer. This
happens after the allocating committee has offered the plot of land to the applicant and the
applicant has accepted the offer.
There is no way of knowing if the offer has been declined by the applicant. As a
result of this flaw, there is no way of keeping track of the allocations that have been
accepted and those that have been declined. The only way to find out about an offer that
was not accepted is through the process of official search or if an interested party keeps
track of the allocation.
As shown in Figure 4-5, the approval process for tha certificate of occupancy begins
at the reception counter. The documents are first submitted to a receptionist at the
reception counter who stamps a date to indicate when the documents were first received.
The document is then sent to the open registry for a land division number. At the open
registry, the documents are put in a folder. The folder is then sent to another office within
the open registry (indexing room) where a unique land division number is issued to the
folder. The plot number, block number, location description, and name of the owner are
Write to the owner or the
District Land Officer or the
City Land Officer for
The document is returned tc
reception desk for filing.
ZONAL REGISTRATION OFFICERS
ZONE I ZONE 2 ] ZONE 3 ZONE 4 ZONE 5 ZONE 6
Land Office Procedure for Issuing a Certificate of Occupancy
recorded on an index card that is kept in the indexing room. The folder containing the
document is sent to the printing section where the land division number and description are
printed on the cover of the folder.
The folder is returned to the open registry again and given to the respective schedule
officer. The folder is placed among other folders from the same region that are waiting to be
processed by the schedule officer who is responsible for documents from that particular
region. The schedule officer checks for ownership, letter of offer, advise of payment,
evidence of payment of fees, correctness of the certificate, typography, and other relevant
letters and documents are included.
In the case of farms, a check is made whether the respective land allocation
committees from the village level to the regional level have all consented. If all the items
are correct, then the schedule officer sends the folder to the statistics section. Otherwise the
schedule officer writes a letter to the individual or the land officer who submitted the
document and requests more information or explanation as to why the documents were
submitted in that manner. Having written the letter, the schedule officer returns the folder to
the receiving desk to be filed until a reply to the letter is received.
At the statistics section, the folder is checked again for any errors that the schedule
officer may have missed. If a mistake or omission is found, the folder is returned to the
schedule officer. Assuming that everything is correct, the technician at the statistics office
takes the folder to the commissioner's office. The commissioner's seal is put on the
document and the folder is left in the commissioner's office where the commissioner checks
the document for any errors that the schedule officer and the technician from the statistics
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