quotes about development
key testimonies featuring development
People say that over the years there has been virtually no development in the area although, in agriculture, circumstances have forced them to accept change and even engage in innovative activities. One narrator criticises the chiefs for failing to initiate any development. Another describes how people contributed money to the chief's committees but have never experienced any benefits from these contributions.
Indeed, the first major experience of "development" has been the highlands water project itself, which is perceived as largely negative. One elderly woman talks of it in calamitous terms, claiming that they are experiencing the great flood foretold in the Bible: "We have been befallen by the great flood, that one of the water of old which we hear when we are being told; it has come to us; it has taken us, the great flood of water" (Lesotho 12). One narrator says they feel disillusioned with their so-called representatives, claiming they have been effectively "sold out" by the chiefs. Another (Lesotho 17b) however, does see beyond the immediate negative impacts to his family and community, and acknowledges the value of LHDA's work for the wider population.
There is some mention of vocational training opportunities being made available after resettlement but people are sceptical, saying that LHDA never kept its promise to provide local people with jobs before relocation. The construction of the LHDA road, they admit, has made life easier in many ways, but has also contributed to increased theft by opening up access to the area.
Relocation does promise some improvements. At present, women collect drinking and cooking water from springs and wells. They protect and clean these areas as best they can, but look forward to tap water in the new locations.
quotes about development
"I know all of LHDA's promises and I have heard them from LHDA employees themselves and LHDA contractors.. We were promised a lot of things such as farming centres where we will be trained [in] vocational skills including commercial livestock farming, poultry [farming], and they even told us that those interested in keeping goats that produce 5 litres of milk will be helped."
Thabang, M/57, Lesotho 2
"...in fact we do not have an argument against moving because, when we were thinking... that we are people who number 50, maybe let me say who are 20 and this thing of [Highlands Water] is a thing which is going to help, maybe a million people in the area; now for these same reasons we found that the children of Basotho shall manage to develop Lesotho..."
Sebili, M/46, Lesotho 17b
"We just need somebody to encourage us to do something, whether from outside, locally or even our chief if ever he advises us to do something, we shall surely do it. We just need guidance... It may be agricultural demonstration or nutritionist or any of such people. None of them has ever visited us."
Mamookho, F/30s, Lesotho 22