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Doctoral thesis, 2024

Access To Land in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Lyamba Ward, Rural Tanzania : A Case of Lyambamgongo Ward in Bukombe District

Butungo, Stanslaus Peter

Abstract

Access to land is an important contributor to the wellbeing and social status of people in rural areas. However, this is often compromised for people affected with HIV/AIDS, a disease which is prevalent in Tanzania. Prior to this study, others have tried to associate between HIV/AIDS infection and land access. However, the link and the contextual factors underpinning such relationship are largely not well understood. This research explores: first, how and in which ways HIV infection affects access to land; second, what contextual factors underpin the impacts of HIV on land access, and thirdly, who among HIV-affected people is more vulnerable to loss of access to land. Drawing on theoretical accounts that frame land access as a question of social power, this study undertakes intensive ethnographic research in Lyamba ward in Bukombe District, Tanzania. The research draws from the life history accounts of 17 HIV-infected people and their access to land. The study reveals a variety of ways in which HIV/AIDS negatively affects land access: destabilising social relationships, spousal or parental deaths, and diminished social status. Such cases happen in contexts characterised by existing land contestations, unequal social relationships, and a pluralistic legal system of overlapping formal and informal rules, norms and values that govern land access. While women and children are often at risk of loss, men with weaker land claims can also lose access. However, the study also documents instances where vulnerable people can fight back to secure land access through collective mobilisation, knowledge on legal land rights, and relations with authority figures. While loss of land can further exacerbate experiences of marginalisation, successful attempts to secure land access can validate personal worth and protect social esteem. The study calls attention to the contested nature of land and how changing dimensions of social power are central to shaping land access in the context of HIV/AIDS.

Keywords

HIV and AIDS; access, land; contestations; legal plurality; inequalities

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2024, number: 2024:13
ISBN: 978-91-8046-290-7, eISBN: 978-91-8046-291-4
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Human Geography

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.54612/a.65p7klspad

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/127524