Lesotho, SA water ministers reaffirm Polihali ambition

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Lesotho, SA water ministers reaffirm Polihali ambition
Lesotho, SA water ministers reaffirm Polihali ambition

Africa-PressLesotho. Water Ministers from Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa enjoyed a two-day Polihali Project ambition revival. The yet to be constructed Polihali Dam is the second compact of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in Mokhotlong. Its water will add to the Gauteng industrial water demand in South Africa.

Principal Secretary Ministry of Water Affairs, Mr Emmanuel Lesoma, on Friday told the media personnel that Honourable Gugile Nkwiti, South African Water and Sanitation Minister headed his Lesotho counterpart Water Minister, Honourable Samonyane Ntsekele for a guided tour to the LHWP sites.

Their joined statement informed that they emphasized the need to take concrete measures to bring realization to LHWP Phase ll agreement. The agreement serves as a guide document to Polihali project prospects.

The ministers, as per the statement, committed themselves to ensuring the agreement provision on both states registered companies will equally share monetary value of infrastructure works, thereby underscoring need for sub-contracting small firms.

It denoted: “The Ministers further reaffirms their commitment towards the empowerment of Basotho and South Africans previously disadvantaged entities, women and youth, people with disability to ensure that they can in turn later effectively compete with the multinationals who currently dominate the global market.

While measures are said to have been taken to ensure Basotho are capacitated to carry out operations and maintenance of the infrastructure post the construction phase, Ministers are understood to have charged the officials to develop concrete programmes for capacity building.

Ntsekele and Nkwiti, claim the statement, acknowledged the vital role and contribution in as far as socio-economic needs of both states are concerned.

They therefore recognized the urgent need to revive Joint Bilateral Cooperation Commission in a near foreseeable future. One area noted by the two is the environmental degradation on the Lesotho side within and about the project area.

They affirmed to scale measures for environment protection via Integrated Catchment Management involving local communities. Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) Chief Executive Officer, Ms Refiloe Tlali confirmed the Ministers’ stance that affected areas local communities’ country folks are consulted on every aspect of their compensatory matters.

LHDA is LHWP implementing agency. The statement ended: “The LHWP is poised to secure a sustainable independent energy supply to Lesotho to meet the country’s electricity requirements, while also ensuring the security of water supply for the Gauteng region of South Africa.”

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