|dc.creator||Musasa, Naison Telmore.||
|dc.description||Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2000.||en
|dc.description.abstract||The construction of large dams has become a contentious issue throughout the
world. Environmentalists, human rights activists, NGOs, academics and local
communities have all contributed to the debate. On the one hand, proponents have
highlighted the role of dams in alleviating poverty, improving the quality of life of
communities, and their positive impact on local and national economies. Opponents
of large dams have argued that the negative impacts on the environment and local
communities outweigh any perceived benefits.
Methods for assessing the environmental impact of large projects have been used
since the 1970's. By 1988 most of Europe had adopted methods such as
environmental impact assessment for evaluating the impact of proposed projects.
These procedures aim to inform decision makers and authorities of the potential
impact that a proposed project may have. World financial institutions, such as the
World Bank, have also adopted the use of these assessment methods as part of their
evaluation of projects that are seeking funding.
This research establishes the environmental standards and requirements that were
in place internationally, nationally and regionally, during the planning, design and
implementation of Phase 1A and Phase 1B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
The products of the environmental investigations during successive phases of the
project (1986-1999) are assessed to establish whether the parties involved conform
to these standards. In addition, the research highlights affected communities'
experience of the project implementation, as well as the impact of the project on their
The research suggests that in the early phases of the Lesotho Highlands Water
Project (feasibility and Phase 1A), studies failed to meet environmental assessment
standards and requirements, Studies undertaken during Phase 1B represent a
considerable improvement and conform more closely to World Bank standards.
Although the participation of interested and affected parties has improved, there still
appear to be areas of major concern to affected communities. The study highlights the need for greater transparency during the assessment phase of projects, and in
particular, more effective involvement of the local communities. Future environmental
assessments of this nature are likely to be subject to more stringent requirements
including the systematic assessment and quantification of downstream impacts and
the incorporation of the costs of all impacts in the project costs. Further phases of the
Lesotho Highlands Water Project, will therefore need to demonstrate environmental
sustainability in the long term.||en
|dc.subject||Lesotho Highlands Water Project.||en
|dc.subject||Water resources development--Lesotho.||en
|dc.subject||Water conservation projects--Lesotho.||en
|dc.subject||Environmental management--Law and legislation--South Africa.||en
|dc.title||A review of environmental assessments undertaken for phases 1A and 1B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.||en