WIT Press

Challenges Of Managing Communal Compensation Downstream Of The LHWP Dams As Part Of The Instream Flow Requirements’ (IFR) Policy And Procedures


Free (open access)





Page Range

387 - 395




3,572 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


L. Moleko, M. Thokoa & Z. Dlamini


Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) is a multi-million dollar project designed to impound headwaters of Senqu Catchment to divert and transfer water from highlands of Lesotho to industrialised water-thirsty area in Gauteng, situated north of the Republic of South Africa while generating hydropower in Lesotho as a spin off. First Phase of the four proposed phases is now complete and it involves inter-catchment water transfers; thus affecting the downstream flow regimes. As a result, LHWP developed IFR Policy and Procedures in consultations with downstream communities to provide guidelines for water allocation and compensation to communities for presumed impacts due to reduced river flows downstream. The first tranche of communal compensation was paid to affected communities through their instituted representative committees generally known as local legal entities (LLEs). Compensation is based on pre-determined resource losses computed from the baseline environmental flows studies. Second and last tranche will be paid only when losses have been proved through a ten-year monitoring data. LLEs are vehicles to administer, plan and manage communal compensation on behalf of communities and invest funds in communal development projects as per requirements stipulated in memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Project and communities. MOU mandates LLEs to use funds for development projects in order to replace lost resources, whilst LHWP’s role is advisory. Implementation of development projects using compensation funds presented major challenges and benefits for communities. Challenges include


IFR Policy, communities, downstream, dams, communal, compensation funds, resource losses, Local legal entities, MOUs, challenges, mismanagement, compensation funds, tranche, development projects, LHWP