Participatory development : a case study of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, Phase 1.
Mofokeng, Retšepile Mary-Antoniette.
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Development stakeholders globally argue that participatory development is the best model of development strategy in achieving sustainable, self-reliant development. This is one of the major tools of democracy used by democratic governments. This type of development strategy asserts that if people decide on their own development and if development becomes personcentred, there is a high possibility of successful and sustainable development projects within communities. It should be understood that participatory development involves people’s participation in development projects from the adoption stage of project to monitoring and evaluation of those projects. In Lesotho, lack of participatory development in development projects is reflected in environmental impact assessment reports by a number of developers. In these reports, participatory development and beneficiary empowerment are not regarded as valuable. It seems empowerment and capacity building is on the margins of the government and developers in Lesotho. This study addresses issues of participatory development with the focus of the Lesotho Highlands water project. It provides a critical examination of the events around the project from its conception, the beginning of the construction of phase one of the project to the end of this phase. The study then provides a critical analysis of the treaty of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project signed in 1986 with much reflection on participatory development and all it entails.
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