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An Institutional Assessment of the Impact Of The Lesotho Highlands Water Project and Hydropower Development


Lucy Khalema Redeby, ‘Mankhetse Makume  and Alphonso Khalema


Topic: An institutional Assessment of the Impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and Hydropower Development

This research report on “An Institutional Assessment of the Impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and Hydropower Development” was undertaken within the “Special Studies of Strategic Significance” theme group under the umbrella of the African Energy Policy Research Network (AFREPREN/FWD).

The objective of the study is to systematically assess the effectiveness of the institutions in the energy sector, in the event of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project and hydropower development and also check the impact that this water project has caused.

The report covers five chapters: Chapter One is the introduction; Chapter Two follows with the methodology; Chapter Three gives a brief of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority; Chapter Four deals with the analysis of the impact of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on the LEC and other institutions in the energy sector, including LHDA’s impact on the decentralised and centralised energy policies and options; Chapter Five details conclusions and recommendations.

With the event of LHWP there were some changes regarding earlier institutional arrangements. In November 1993, LHDA and LEC entered into a Power Agreement over the ‘Muela hydropower project. The resultant is that the LHDA is responsible for hydropower generation. In this case, the LEC only regulates distribution. This mandate bestowed upon LHDA overlaps with the LEC’s mandate, in regards to generation.

The LHDA embarked on a re-organisation process beginning in 1997, with the objective of clarifying focus of efforts within the organisation. This process led to about 150 vacant positions, 53 percent of those positions have been filled with a mixture of experienced personnel, those from within, and from other organisations such as LEC, WASA, Government, and from abroad.

For the purposes of power augmentation and self-sufficiency, the Government, through the Department of Energy, is promoting decentralised energy options. It intends to install solar heaters on its buildings, (12 percent and 15 percent in urban and rural households respectively).

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