photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains

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February 1998


Laurent was interviewed twice: see Lesotho 8.

The interviewer concentrates on discussing agricultural and herding methods. In response, the narrator describes some local medicinal plants and agricultural practices – information that helps contextualise life in the area. He also describes his dislike of bought and packaged food as opposed to food that he grows himself.

Like many other narrators, he is concerned about resettlement. He feels the government and the LHWP just agreed among themselves about the forced relocation of villagers, and in addition says they are not keeping their promises with regard to land and compensation.

detailed breakdown

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Section 1  Personal details, born in Molika-liko. Advantages of area: “Even the animals of our place here, they are better than other animals. In winter especially, there is no snow
Section Section 2-4  Numbers of livestock. Numbers of children. Crops grown. Crop rotation. Use of animal, not artificial fertiliser.
Section Section 5-6  No problem with snow or frost. Finds that harvests are better now than in the past, but he doesn’t really explain why. Working in the mines before marrying: “I wanted to work for myself also; I should wear trousers of my own money.” Growing cannabis.
Section 7-8  Selling cannabis. Production of it and of maize: both require similar effort/work. Hires women to help: “I will look for people to weed for me there, it would be a piece job there…. Now I will be with the mothers of the children (i.e. women) there.” Trading with other villages. Benefits of new road – but now they are leaving.
Section Section 9-11  Issue of forced migration raised. Offers made by Highland Water in first meetings do not correspond to present situation. Concerns about leaving a place they know, and for animals: “Animals when they leave from their area and go to another one, they deteriorate and shed their character, they are not able to cope with that new area.” Being told not to plant new crops. Issue of pasture/fodder compensation.
Section 11  Buying vs. growing food; lowlands vs. highlands. “Where I do not plant I do not like...” Re LHDA: “All things that they have promised us with I see them as not being truths
Section 12  Mentions plants and grasses that do not exist in other places that will be lost with the dam: letsiri, and lethepu. Medicinal uses.
Section Section 13-14  Who is “to blame” for resettlement: “Highland Water and the government. It is one thing because they agreed, the two of them.” Grazing practices. Interviewer raises the issue of carrying capacity of fields. Aloe growing locally – still plentiful.