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Metolong Dam resettlement and compensation plan signed

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 08 January 2011

The Metolong Authority has signed a US$1,27 million (about R8.55 million) contract with Canadian and South African consulting companies to develop a plan that would resettle and compensate those affected by the construction of the Metolong Dam.

Advance Infrastructure of the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme. Photo: © John Hogg / World Bank under Creative Commons Licence

The Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP) will supply potable water for domestic and industrial use to Maseru and the rural towns of Roma, Mazenod, Morija and Teyateyaneng.

The Metolong Authority Public Relations Manager, Matšeliso Makoele, told Public Eye on Wednesday this week rePlan Inc. (Canada) in association with SRK Consulting Engineers and Scientists (South Africa) were expected to complete the work by March 2014.

Makoele said the consultants would develop the action plan which would include an evaluation and monitoring programme and a baseline socio-economic survey in consultation with local stakeholders such as the directly-affected communities, local chiefs, relevant community councils and other interested parties.

She said the consultancy would be implemented within the framework of the Metolong Resettlement and Compensation Policy and Procedures which was completed in June last year.

“It will also be implemented in accordance with the national and international land acquisition, compensation and resettlement policies and legislation such as the Lesotho Land Act of 1979, the World Bank Operational Policy 4.12, as well as other international best practices,” Makoele said.

She said prior to the awarding of this contract, the Metolong Programme compensated community members affected by activities under Advance Infrastructure Phase 1 and 2, the proposed camp and Water Treatment sites.

An Abbreviated Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) was also prepared as an interim measure to deal with compensation issues while the Policy and Action Plan were still being prepared. Under the Abbreviated RAP, 130 out of 149 people affected by the project received compensation.

The programme is part of a larger initiative by the government of Lesotho to increase access of safe water supply to Lesotho’s lowland areas.

Makoele said secure water supplies to these areas would boost socio-economic development by ensuring the continued development of the manufacturing and textile industries, job-creation, and food production and would therefore greatly assist with poverty alleviation.

The construction of the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP) is being co-funded by the Government of Lesotho, Government of South Africa, World Bank, Kuwait Fund, BADEA, Saudi Fund for Development, OPEC Fund for International Development, Millennium Challenge Corporation and the European Investment Bank.

By: Ntsau Lekhetho
Source: Public Eye Online

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