In 1998, the government resumed a mountain water supply project and in April inaugurated the first piece that included a dike. The project had been halted in 1997 following protests from locals who had been displaced and after corruption allegations by the opposition. NGOs in Italy accused the World Bank of violating the human rights of local communities and destroying the environment through its financing of hydroelectric power stations in Lesotho. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Lesotho.
In early 1998, the Catholic Church objected to the establishment of courses in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism in schools controlled by Catholics. The government replied that the constitution allows religious diversity.
March 8, hundreds of women demanded stricter penalties on rape offenders. Acc. official statistics show 5 women and girls are raped daily in Lesotho. A report by the Association for the Development of Southern Africa pointed out that in most of the 14 member states – including Lesotho – the legislation on violence against women is not being complied with.
The same month, a new political party – the Christian Democratic Party – was formed by a split in the National Progress Party.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Lesotho on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Lesotho.
The May 1998 election was won by the ruling party, now called Lesotho Congress for Democracy, but the opposition considered the election fraught with fraud and staged protest demonstrations. Acc. the electoral commission had conquered only 1 out of the 80 seats in elections. In September, part of the military joined the protests, and the government assessed that it was no longer able to keep the situation under control and asked for help in South Africa sending troops violently tormenting the demonstrations. South Africa subsequently sent a $ 1 million bill for a month’s intervention in its neighboring country.
In December, a group of 24 people made up of representatives from the government and the opposition was set up to organize new elections and amend the electoral law. South African troops withdrew with a small contingent of Botswana soldiers from the country in May 1999.
In mid-1999, 12 foreign companies were accused of paying bribes. the tender for Africa’s largest infrastructure project. It is a joint project between Lesotho and South Africa to exploit the water that flows through the Orange River from the Maloti Mountains and ends in the Atlantic Ocean. A large number of hydropower plants will be built to supply electricity to Lesotho and water to South Africa. Water is a resource found in abundance in Lesotho while South Africa’s industry is increasingly in need of water.
The World Bank is also involved in the project and it is estimated that the project has already displaced 30,000 farmers who have lost homes, fields and pastures. Although no environmental studies were carried out in connection with. the project, it was considered that the villages and farmers concerned “would maintain at least the same standard of living as before the project was initiated”. But it can already be seen that, apart from a few resettled people, living standards have deteriorated for the vast majority who have had to settle in areas without water. It is also estimated that the project will have major impacts on the water system in the mountains of Lesotho and will threaten the survival of several animal and plant species in the region.