LHWP project in full flow
Families affected by the construction of phase one of the project had been successfully relocated and compensated, said Mr Phakoe.
The relocation of the households for phase two had not started since its implementation has only started now. Baseline studies that will explain the existing conditions of the people and the environment in the area of implementation of phase two had nevertheless been completed.
“We are now commissioning studies that will produce an impact analysis of the project before considering relocations,” Mr Phakoe said.
Mr Ntente explained the procurement procedure under phase two and how Basotho could benefit. He said all the procurement guidelines were drawn from the LHWP treaty and the phase two agreement.
The four pillars of quality, cost effectiveness, competitiveness, transparency underpinned the procurement process. After these four are satisfied, the second principle on preference then kicks in, said Mr Ntente. This ensures that preference is given to consultants and contractors in Lesotho first. Where these cannot be found, they are then sourced from South Africa, then SADC community member states before international entities are considered for the procurement of all goods and services.
Consultants and contractors registered in Lesotho and in South Africa will nonetheless share the value of all infrastructure works on an equal monetary basis, taking into account, among other things, their shareholding and operational experience. The infrastructure work mainly relates to roads, camps, bridges, bulk power and telecommunications networks while the main works comprise the construction of the dam and the tunnels.
Mr Tukwa spoke about other ancillary benefits like aquaculture, tourism, portable water and others for economic and social development of Lesotho.
In tourism, for instance, Mr Tukwa said the LHDA has assisted in improving nature reserves within project geographical areas, building hiking trails while trout farming concessions had been issued for employment and revenue generation. As a result, Lesotho had carved a niche market for the export of trout to South Africa and Japan.
Mr Lukhele called upon any other stakeholders with ideas about how to extract more ancillary benefits around management of Lesotho’s abundant water resources to bring these up for discussion and consideration by the LHDA.
South Africa had so far benefited by accessing more than 10 billion cubic metres of high quality water, improved security of water supply and significantly reduced water treatment costs while major contracts in the project have been implemented by South African contractors and consultants.