OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
OPEC bulletin 3–4/17
n 2003, OFID received a request from the government
of Lesotho for financial assistance to rehabilitatewater
infrastructure and extend distribution networks in the
capital city Maseru. The project that followed saw the
installation of 300 kilometres of pipeline, alongwith con-
nections and metres for thousands of homes.
Two new reservoirs were built, with a total storage
capacity of approximately 3,750 cubic metres, while
two existing reservoirs were enlarged. Two pumping sta-
tions were constructed, while another was completely
OFID joined with the Arab Bank for Economic
Development to co-finance the project, located in
the northwest and southwest zones of Maseru.
Previously in the capital, home to more than
450,000 people, only around one-half of the resi-
dents had an adequate supply of drinking water.
Others, especially those living in the peri-urban
areas, had to purchase water from vendors at
inflated prices, or wait in long queues at public
The project, executed by the country’s Water
Syahrul Luddin, OFID Country Officer for
Lesotho, explained that after the project’s comple-
tion in 2012 more than one million people in the
area could access safe water and sanitation.
“Women and children, whohadpreviously car-
ried the burden of fetching water, have benefited
most from the improvements,” he maintained.
Householdsconnected to thewater supplynet-
work are not only able to save money, as they no
longer have to pay the high prices demanded by water
water sources and the inadequate sewerage system.
Helping economic development
“The direct impact on people’s health was immediate,”
observedLuddin. Inaddition, theprojectalso contributed
to economic development since it provided water to sup-
port the garment manufacturing industry, he explained.
Improving access to water and sanitation
At the inauguration ceremony of the Maseru Water Supply Project in 2012, OFID Director-
General, Suleiman J Al-Herbish, said: “Living conditions cannot be improved without access
to safe and reliable water.” Or to quote the words of Dr Timothy Thahane, Former Minister of
Finance of Lesotho: “Water is Life”. OFID’s
Suleiman J Al-Herbish (l),
OFID Director-General, during
a visit to Lesotho.