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OPEC bulletin 3–4/17

Impediments to the economic development of

Lesotho have included the lack of natural resources,

vulnerability to drought and serious land shortages,

combined with the country’s dependence on South


Made up mostly of highlands, many of Lesotho’s

villages can be reached only on horseback, by foot or

using light aircraft. However, water is one of the coun-

try’s greatest natural assets. It is a source of wealth and

prosperity for the 2.1 million people of the tiny South

African enclave.


the development of the water sector. After all, it contrib-

utes around ten per cent to the Kingdom’s overall GDP.

A Water Sector Policy — aimed at improving the manage-

ment of water resources, the provision of water supply

and sanitation services, and overall coordination within

the sector — was adopted some years ago.

However, the lack of an adequate supply infrastruc-

ture and the uneven distribution of available water can

stillprovean impedimentto the country’ssocio-economic


Many rural people and urban poor still do not have

sustainable access to safe drinkingwater and sanitation.

Moreover, long dry periods can prove disastrous for farm-

ers trying to eke out a living in marginal areas and leave

the inhabitants of urban slums vulnerable to disease due

to poor sanitation.

Vital infrastructure provided

Since commencing cooperation with Lesotho in 1976,

close to 40 per cent of OFID’s support to the mountain

kingdom has helped fund projects in the water sector.

These funds have been used to build vital infrastruc-

ture, including dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants,

pumping stations and distribution networks.

With a GDP per capita of a little over $986 in 2014,

a life expectancy at birth of around 49 years (2010–15)

and an urban population that represents just over a quar-

ter of the total population, according to UN data, there

remain significant development opportunities to pursue.

OFID is currently appraising a follow-up opportunity

to further support the Maseru Water Supply Project.

OFID boosts Lebanese agriculture

through improved water access

In Lebanon, OFID is working with the International Fund for Agricultural

Development (IFAD) to co-fund a major project aimed at significantly increasing

agricultural productivity in the country by improving access to water. OFID’s

Lilian Al-Bazaz

has this report.


orming part of the government of Lebanon’s

ambitious plan to address the pressing issue of

water security, the ongoing Hilly Areas Sustainable

Agriculture Development Project is focused

on improving living standards for rural

and war-stricken areas of the country.

OFID Country Officer for Lebanon, Ahdi

Alhunaif, explained how some 24,000

householdswouldbenefitwhen theproject is completed.

Themain expected benefits include improved income for

farmers through better crop performance.

Water andsoil conservation initiativesunder theproj-

ect aim to excavate around 30 ponds and reservoirs, as

well as five lakes, with a combined total storage capacity

of 1.5 million cubic metres.

Other works include the construction of irrigation