photo of person from Lesotho the maluti mountains
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introducing the area


 quotes about resettlement
 key testimonies featuring resettlement

All the narrators have concerns about the removal from their homes although the strength of opposition varies. For some who never envisaged having to leave the area, the pain at the prospect of displacement is almost overwhelming. The elderly, the widowed and the disabled feel particularly vulnerable. A couple of people show some optimism about being able to settle elsewhere successfully, make new friends and retain important aspects of their current way of life, including mutual assistance. One 46-year-old man (Lesotho 17b) sees the dam project as benefiting many people, though he, like others, is concerned about the ancestors' graves and about finding new pasture for the animals.

People have different reasons for their choice of resettlement location. Some have tried to stay in mountain areas similar to the area where they live now. Many have chosen to move to villages where they have relatives or which are at least in an area they know, in the hope that this will improve their chances of being able to sharecrop.

One woman (Lesotho 9) describes the fragmented way in which relocation decisions were made: "One said, 'As for us we are going there.' Two said, 'As for us we are going there.' Now you hear it was now a thing which was confused, and we are no longer [seeing eye to eye]." One elderly man (Lesotho 1) complains: "I think it would have been better for the project to have marked a single area for resettling this village. In this way, only people who had a different view could be allowed to go elsewhere. But the project only told us as individuals to make our individual choices."

There are fears that the host communities may consider them "proud" because of their compensation money or that they will be exploited because of it (see Compensation). However, several narrators plan to buy tractors with their compensation and use this as a source of income wherever they move. One of the women hopes they will receive the vocational training that LHDA has promised and then she will be able to set up a business making and selling garments.

quotes about resettlement

"Now that they are making us emigrate [from] here, and they are taking us to those places [...] we cannot have an easy life, and find the easy life that is the same as the one of here where we still are. No, never. I have chickens here right now outside here, if you were to look at these chickens of mine, you will find that they are having an easy life, because I have planted trees there, they have gone into the forest. Even the hawk does not find the small chicks of theirs... no. Now where we are going it is just a plain (unsheltered) place."
Mokete, M/64, Lesotho 11

"We are dispersing like the young ones of a bird."
Maseipati, F/elderly, Lesotho 12

"Ntate, as for now we have been defeated. As for me truly well, I am speaking the truth, I am saying that that thing (resettlement) has destroyed us."
Tsatsi, M/70s, Lesotho 15

"Ache! A person will always miss a lot of things about their original place, if there is anyone who can say they will not miss a thing in this place that person must be sick. Even a girl who has agreed to marry a boy takes a long time before she gets used to being away from her home. We are going to miss this place. We loved everything about this place. It being bad or good, we are used to it and we will really miss it. However, there is nothing we can do."
Mampaleng, F/78, Lesotho 26

key testimonies featuring resettlement

  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   1   Lipholo   male/67   farmer/basketmaker   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   12   Maseipati   female/elderly   farmer   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   18   Mathabo   female/48   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   26   ’Mampaleng   female/78   L   Ha ’Mamokoluoa  
Summary Transcript   3   Makibinyane   male/40s   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   4   Tekenyane   male/74   farmer   Molika-liko  
Summary Transcript   5   Matefo   female/19   farmer   Ha Ntsi  
Summary Transcript   6   Lebeko, and   male and female/L   chief and chieftainess   Ha Tsapane  
Summary Transcript   9   ’Malibuseng   female/32   farmer   Ha Tsapane