photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains

culture and customs
employment and income
environmental knowledge
family life
justice and crime
livelihood strategies
social change
social institutions
social relationships
spiritual beliefs

introducing the area


 quotes about development
 key testimonies featuring development

People say that over the years there has been virtually no development in the area although, in agriculture, circumstances have forced them to accept change and even engage in innovative activities. One narrator criticises the chiefs for failing to initiate any development. Another describes how people contributed money to the chief's committees but have never experienced any benefits from these contributions.

Indeed, the first major experience of "development" has been the highlands water project itself, which is perceived as largely negative. One elderly woman talks of it in calamitous terms, claiming that they are experiencing the great flood foretold in the Bible: "We have been befallen by the great flood, that one of the water of old which we hear when we are being told; it has come to us; it has taken us, the great flood of water" (Lesotho 12). One narrator says they feel disillusioned with their so-called representatives, claiming they have been effectively "sold out" by the chiefs. Another (Lesotho 17b) however, does see beyond the immediate negative impacts to his family and community, and acknowledges the value of LHDA's work for the wider population.

There is some mention of vocational training opportunities being made available after resettlement but people are sceptical, saying that LHDA never kept its promise to provide local people with jobs before relocation. The construction of the LHDA road, they admit, has made life easier in many ways, but has also contributed to increased theft by opening up access to the area.

Relocation does promise some improvements. At present, women collect drinking and cooking water from springs and wells. They protect and clean these areas as best they can, but look forward to tap water in the new locations.

quotes about development

"I know all of LHDA's promises and I have heard them from LHDA employees themselves and LHDA contractors.. We were promised a lot of things such as farming centres where we will be trained [in] vocational skills including commercial livestock farming, poultry [farming], and they even told us that those interested in keeping goats that produce 5 litres of milk will be helped."
Thabang, M/57, Lesotho 2

" fact we do not have an argument against moving because, when we were thinking... that we are people who number 50, maybe let me say who are 20 and this thing of [Highlands Water] is a thing which is going to help, maybe a million people in the area; now for these same reasons we found that the children of Basotho shall manage to develop Lesotho..."
Sebili, M/46, Lesotho 17b

"We just need somebody to encourage us to do something, whether from outside, locally or even our chief if ever he advises us to do something, we shall surely do it. We just need guidance... It may be agricultural demonstration or nutritionist or any of such people. None of them has ever visited us."
Mamookho, F/30s, Lesotho 22

key testimonies featuring development

  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   1   Lipholo   male/67   farmer/basketmaker   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   10   íMalebohang   female/64   farmer   Ha Lekhera  
Summary Transcript   11   Mokete   male/64   farmer   Ha Ralifate  
Summary Transcript   12   Maseipati   female/elderly   farmer   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   14   Mohlominyane   male/61   farmer/village headman   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   14B   Mohlominyane   male/61   farmer/village headman   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   15   Tsatsi   male/70s   farmer   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   16   Moleleki   male/41   farmer   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   17   Sebili   male/46   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   17B   Sebili   male/46   farmer   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   19   Nathnael   male/61   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   2   Thabang   male/57   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   20   Motseki   male/    farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   21   íMepa   male/50s   farmer/chief   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   24   Khethisa   Male/40   lethuela (traditional doctor)   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   3   Makibinyane   male/40s   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   7   Tlali   male/elderly   farmer   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   8   Laurent   male/47   farmer   Maetsisa  
Summary Transcript   9   íMalibuseng   female/32   farmer   Ha Tsapane