Our Environment, Our Responsibility

Preserving Cultural Heritage: Safeguarding Children's Land Inheritance in Sinazongwe District

Sinazongwe district is a rural district, the indigenous people are very traditional in practice and attitude. Land is often utilized as a place to inhabit and source of livelihood through farming and keeping livestock. Culturally land is usually passed on from one generation to another as a family inheritance. However, at the rate at which communities are selling land to mining investors in Sinazongwe, there will be no land to inherit for the coming generation; because members of a displaced or resettled community may have no formal or customary land title recognized under the law, and thus find themselves permanently displaced from their original land. 

Culturally this interrupts the land inheritance pattern for children, as compensation for the loss of land is often provided to a single generation in cash, and cash compensation is unlikely to be passed on to future generations.  Loss of home and farming land to mining investors has a telling effect on these households. This also led to the loss of a child’s home who is not consulted when parents sell land. Displacement and relocation can cause fundamental changes in the life of children; as losing family means of livelihood can make it harder for the family to support itself. For children their movement from their homes to a totally different place affects them psychologically, mentally, physically and emotionally.

It is for this reason why Home of Rescue and Centre for Environment Justice collaborated today, for child protection sensitization at Maamba high school. The objective was to influence school going children to claim their rights to inherit land from their families. Girls must also inherit land from their parents as an equal right to also use it for livelihood purposes, as the case maybe.