Sehlabathebe now has World Heritage status
The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed Lesotho’s Sehlabathebe National Park as an extension to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site in South Africa and it will now to be named the Maloti Drakensberg Transboundary World Heritage Site. The 37th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed the Sehlabathebe National Park of Lesotho on the World Heritage List on Saturday, 22 June 2013. This is Lesotho's first World Heritage Site.
The park, established in 1970 as a "Wild Life Sanctuary and National Park" was already nominated for the World Heritage List in 2008. It has 250 endemic plant species as well as significant San rock art. It is a valuable compliment to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park.
Floods take heavy toll in Lesotho
Phase 2 of the Highlands Water Project picks up
The first half of 2010 saw gaining momentum in the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), which involves the building of Polihali dam some 5km downstream of the confluence of Khubelu and Senqu rivers, in Mokhtolong District.
Construction of the 165m high / 2.2 billion cubic meter dam (the R7.3 billion cost being payed for by South Africa) is set to start in 2012 and will take about 5 years. Water should flow into South Africa in 2018. Costs will also cover infrastructure and compensation of 13 000 families that will be re-located to other areas.
Water from this dam will also be directed to the Vaal River, as with Phase I of the project (which involved the building of Katse and Mohale Dams, as well as Muela Hydro-power Station). Additional hydro-power will also be part of the project, which the Lesotho government will be paying for. It will supplement their own power grid and could also be exported.