US Can Help Stop Brewing Water Wars

Wednesday, January 27, 1999
A global water crisis is brewing, scientists warn, and we must find new solutions or face the specter of widespread water warfare. Water management experts say the large–scale infrastructure projects traditionally offered as the solution cannot alleviate water conflicts. Instead, the emphasis must be on conservation and water equity. Unfortunately, the World Bank – the world’s largest development lender and a powerful force in shaping water infrastructure – has been extremely slow to shift gears. Instead, the bank maintains a water portfolio laden with huge, old–style water sche

Major Dam Companies Caught in African Bribery Scandal

Friday, October 1, 1999
In July, it was revealed in a respected South African newspaper that a dozen major international dam–building companies involved in the World Bank–funded Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in Southern Africa had lavishly bribed at least one top official on the project, allegedly giving nearly US$2 million in bribes over ten years. The list of corrupt companies reads like a who’s who of the dam–building industry (see page 11 for full listing of companies and bribes paid). At press time, the World Bank had indicated that its anti–corruption guidelines may not apply in this cas

World Bank Debars Acres International Limited (Acres)

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
World Bank Finally Debars Company Convicted of Bribing in Lesotho The World Bank at long last has debarred a company convicted of corruption on Africa’s largest dam project, nearly two years after a guilty sentence was handed down in a Lesotho court. On July 23, the World Bank announced that it would debar from further Bank contracts the Canadian firm Acres International for 3 years. The company had been convicted of bribing the head of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in September 2002. The World Bank, which had previously concluded there was not enough evidence to debar Acr

Lesotho Judge Convicts German Engineering Firm of Bribery Charges

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
The Lesotho High Court yesterday convicted Lahmeyer International, a German engineering consulting firm, of paying approximately US$550,000 in bribes to the former chief executive of the multi–billion dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project in exchange for favorable contract decisions, according to South African press reports. Lesotho Justice Gabriel Mofolo found Lahmeyer guilty of 7 of the 13 counts for which they were charged. This is the second company to be convicted in the lengthy trial, which began in 1999. The Canadian engineering company, Acres International, was found guilty last yea

LHDA Finally "Agrees" To Resettle Lakabane Family

Monday, December 9, 2002
The family faced the danger of being swallowed up by the giant Mohale dam of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. At long last there seems to be some hope for the Lakabane family which was left in the middle of the Mohale dam of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) after the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) refused to resettle them elsewhere to make way for the construction of the gigantic reservoir. According to Mothusi Seqhee, a Community Worker for the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC), a non–governmental organization that monitors the social and envi

Canadian Engineering Firm Found Guilty of Bribery in Lesotho

Friday, September 20, 2002
Company May Face Disbarment by World Bank The Lesotho High Court today convicted Acres International, a Canadian engineering consulting firm, of paying bribes to win contracts on a multi–billion dollar dam project. Acres had been charged with paying nearly $266,000 to Mr. Masupha Sole, the former chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. Sentencing will take place on October 7 and 8. Acres’ defense was that they were not responsible for the payments to Mr. Sole as these were made via an intermediary through a "representation agreement." Chief Justice Lehoh

Huge Protest Over Large Dams in Lesotho - Police Attempt to Disrupt Demonstrations, Injuring Three

Tuesday, November 27, 2001
More than 2000 demonstrators converged on three major dams in Lesotho on November 19 during a massive coordinated protest. Police responded violently at Mohale Dam, injuring three elderly women. The demonstrators, all impacted by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), were protesting the lack of fair compensation for property lost to the dams, and unfulfilled promises of development in affected communities. They demanded to receive a ten–percent share of royalties generated from the dams and a commission of inquiry into the project’s impacts on local people. In a petition that they de

Resettlers Demand Improvements in Resettlement Package

Sunday, June 18, 2000
People due to be resettled by the second dam in the giant Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) in southern Africa have issued a declaration to project authorities which, among other things, demands compensation before they move from their mountain communities to Lesotho’s lowlands. The demands are in response to advice given them by their former neighbors who were resettled from the area in 1998 for the first round of construction on Mohale Dam.Mohale Dam, which will deliver water to South Africass industrial heartland, will displace more than 2,000 people before its scheduled completion

Too Many Dams, Too Little Water - Lesotho’s Rivers Could Become "Waste Water Drains"

Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Rivers affected by the 5–dam Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) could deteriorate to "something akin to waste–water drains" if Lesotho delivers as much water to South Africa as the original treaty requires. This is according to the final draft of the Instream Flow Requirements (IFR) study conducted by Metsi Consultants at the request of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA). The report is intended to inform planners’ decisions about the proposed Mashai Dam, which is currently the subject of treaty negotiations between South Africa and Lesotho. The IFR, heralde


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