The socio-economic impact of poverty reduction in Lesotho : a survey of poor households at Taung in the Mohale's Hoek district, Lesotho.
Mokhatla, David Morapeli.
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This is a dissertation on the socio-economic impact of poverty reduction in Lesotho. The major thrust of the study was to address the problem of low community participation inherent in development activities. This was triggered off by the high incidence of poverty in Lesotho. The researcher had prior belief that this was a result of low levels of community participation. The study was meant to contribute to knowledge and test research hypotheses and theories. It was proposed that various programmes or initiatives can improve the socio-economic condition of the rural poor through enhanced community participation. Interviews, questionnaires and focus group discussions were used to elicit data from the respondents. Qualitative and quantitative techniques were employed in the collection and analysis of data. The research focused on three villages in rural Lesotho. These are Liphiring, Majapereng and Qhalasi, all found at Taung in the Mohale's Hoek district. Also, development professionals in government and voluntary agencies were consulted for information. The total sample of 158 respondents was used for the study. The results of the study indicate very low levels of socio-economic development in the three villages. Unemployment was found to be at the head of all malaises. It is strongly demonstrated that government programmes have failed to ameliorate the situation. The failures of subsistence agriculture and limited non-farm activities have led to greater dependence of the villagers on government aid. The study has noted poor organizational capacity resulting in political conflicts in the villages. In addition, the study unearthed poor co-ordination and lack of collaboration between government and other development agents in the anti-poverty project. Finally, the study uncovered that programmes respond poorly to villagers' needs. The majority of households are of one mind that government programmes need to be restructured in order to better serve their needs. In the main, the study has noted very little achievement in poverty reduction. This research has shown that this resulted from low levels of community participation and poor implementation of policies by the government.
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