South Africa’s Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) has raised US $1bn in capital markets to continue construction of the Lesotho Highlands water project. The authority needed guarantees from the National Treasury before it could raise the private funding for the project. According to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, the department now has the resources and the guarantees and it is ready to provide water security in the country.
The raised funds will facilitate the completion of of phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands water project, which involves the construction of several dams including the Polihali Dam to be built downstream of the confluence of the Khubelu and Senqu Rivers in the Mokhotlong district in the Eastern highlands of Lesotho. A 38km long water transfer tunnel which will link the Polihali reservoir to the Katse reservoir will also be built.
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Lesotho Highlands Water Project
The Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is expected to put in place the physical and managerial capacity for Lesotho to harness the surplus water of the Senqu/Orange River and its tributaries in order to effect the delivery of specified quantities of water to the designated outlet into the Republic of South Africa and by utilizing such delivery system to generate hydropower in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
In addition, each Party has the opportunity to undertake ancillary developments in its territory. Established through the 1986 Treaty signed between the Governments of the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republic of South Africa, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is recognised as one of the world’s most successful trans-boundary water resources management schemes. Please give us the historical background.