ZAMBIA – Mapping to facilitate land registration and to fight evictions

Type of project: mapping + training

Status: completed


Space2Live supports Caritas Zambia and the Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA)´s activities to counteract land grabbing incidents in Zambia  since 2013. Disputes over land rights become increasingly problematic for local communities in rural Zambia, especially for the peasant population. Traditional forms of land use prove to be very vulnerable against large-scale land investments. Together with its local partners, Space2Live has developed a bottom-up approach for customary land rights documentation. The outcomes may be used by affected communities local NGOs and international human rights organizations for campaigning and lobbying purposes.


In workshops, the needs and interests of the partner organizations were identified and strategies were developed accordingly. The organizations received training in the use and generation of geographic data and in producing maps on land disputes. At the end of the workshop, the organizations were able to use these skills autonomously to map and document land rights violations in Zambian communities.

The workshop comprised training on:

  1. Handling of GPS Receivers
  2. Basic surveying using GPS Receivers
  3. Data exchange using Open Source software
  4. Visualization and mapping using Open Source software (QGIS)

Major outcomes

The ability to gather information and produce maps on land conflicts supports at least three working areas of Caritas Zambia and the Zambia Land Alliance:

  1. Support to the land certification process: The certification of customary land in Zambia was initiated by the Zambia Land Alliance and discussed for a number of districts. Various elders signalized their support for the certification of customary land rights in their districts.
  2. Lobbying: Maps of land use and ownership structures help the organizations to advocate the interests of peasant communities affected by land grabbing.
  3. Crowdmapping: The results of the workshop and future mapping procedures will be fed into crowdmapping platforms (like Ushahidi) in order to make accessible the information and reveal new land disputes.




Zambia-beTracking Land Boundaries
Zambia certificate_img-be
Left: Example of a certificate for customary land
Right: A „map sketch“ localizing a field
to be certified (click to increase size)
Examplary overview map of colonial land
tenure and farmland proportions in the district
Mazabuka, Zambia (click to increase size)