The second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project which is a bi-national project between the governments of Lesotho and South Africa was launched recently and it’s expected to cost US$1.3bn.
The treaty signed between the two governments will set relevant structures that will help implement the whole project.
The first phase of the project was split into 1A and 1B. The main physical features of Phase 1A are the Katse dam, the transfer tunnel from Katse to Muela Hydropower station, The Muela Hydropower station and appurtenances and the delivery tunnel to the border with South Africa. Phase 1B involved the construction of the Mohale dams, the diversion tunnel to the Katse dam.
The second phase of Lesotho Highlands Water Project will comprise the construction of 155metre-high Polihali Dam and tunnels.
According to the president of South Africa Jacob Zuma, the whole project is a good opportunity for both countries since it will create a good relationship between the states and also create employment.
The president also noted that through the project, South Africa will be able to get water given that it has scarce water resources. On the other side, Lesotho will be able to earn sufficient revenue to cater for its population.
Since the inception of the project in 1998, Lesotho has benefited in road upgrades and linkages and infrastructure development.