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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hydropolitics, Ecocide and Human Security in Lesotho: A Case Study of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project
Author:Mwangi, OscarISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Lesotho
South Africa
Subjects:water management
human security
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03057070601136509
Abstract:The Lesotho Highlands Water Project is a binational collaboration between Lesotho and South Africa. One of the most comprehensive water projects in the world, it aims to harness the water resources of Lesotho to the mutual benefit of both States. Once completed, about 2,200 million cubic metres of water per annum will be transferred from Lesotho to the South African network. In return, Lesotho will benefit in terms of ancillary developments and, in particular, revenue from royalties. However, due to hydropolitics, the project has impacted negatively upon human security in Lesotho. This article examines the relationship between hydropolitics, ecocide and human security, with reference to the project. It argues that due to the hydro-strategic interests of the political elite of both countries, cooperation exists between them over the project. These strategic interests, however, outweigh social and environmental considerations in Lesotho, thereby constituting a threat to human security. The implementation of the project, which implied the construction of large dams, has resulted in ecocide and, as such, it has adverse environmental and social effects. It has contributed to chronic threats to human security, while at the same time disrupting the patterns of daily life of the affected communities. Ref., sum. [Journal abstract]