Powers of Urban Local Government on Land Administration, and the Challenges of Illegal Housing: The Case of Burayu City Administration, Oromia National Regional State.

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Addis Ababa University


The research investigates the powers of urban local governments and their capacity to execute policies and laws, in general and the competence of Burayu city administration in effecting land law and protecting illegal housing in particular. The study used mixed research approach. Questionnaires, in-depth interviews with key informants and focused group discussions (FGD) from purposely selected Burayu residents were used as means to get data for the study. The key informants were officials of Burayu City and kebele leaders, farmers’ residents of Burayu city, and investors. The study also used document analysis, from law, regulations, and procedures pertinent to the research under discussion as secondary data sources. The study found out that Burayu city, the research site, is under the fast transformation, from small village to grade one urban local government within six decades. However, because of poor land administration and corrupted system, the city could be the source of contagious conflicts that could take the life of many citterns and distraction of uncalculated property in different zones of Oromia National Regional State. The main reasons for this chaos were unfair compensation paid for expropriated farm land, high rate of the lease price, missed land cadastral, unable to register old land possession, and the backlog of packages formulated in lease law that cannot helps the residents, and the poorly discussed and gullible “Addis Ababa –Oromia Integrated Developmental Master Plan” As a result many social and political challenges such as increase of illegal housing and land transaction “in black market” could be common phenomena. This study points out that there is a need to rethink on the existing land rules and regulation of the land lease, property compensation and expropriation law; making law for pierurban enclosed to the urban area, that urban expansion or investment shall be governed by equity and equality principle among the citizens. Realizing urban local governments, self administration and decentralized autonomy would build democracy from below,



Federalism, Decentralization, Urban Local Government