Zenia Rueben, a Malawian farmer, was able to claim her land by learning about land rights.
Land, water, forets. They are all around us and provide us with the resources we need to survive. And yet, as they become increasingly privatised and commoditised, the poorest and the most marginalised people, especially women, are deprived of their basic human rights, including their right to food.
Natural resources play a critical role in the lives of poor people. Having secure access to and control over land increases peoples’ resilience in the face of hunger and poverty, enabling them to look into ways to manage them sustainably. Not only access to land but security of land tenure is also important in ensuring the right to food and other human rights, like the rights to work and housing.
That is why we are supporting farmers in their struggle against land grabs and campaigning to ensure that corporations and governments are accountable for abuses of the rights to land, water and other natural resources.
In my district, there are two sugar companies that are grabbing land. In 2006, we started to have small portions of land grabbed, but in 2009, our whole land was grabbed and irrigation channel was closed by the municipality president to irrigate his own camp. When we went to ask him to open it, we were beaten. We were called as opposition and some of us were put into jail.
- Margarida Paulo Ubisse, 46 year old smallholder farmer in Manhiça District, Mozambique