Flood damage at Polihali dam in Lesotho expected to delay water delivery to SA

Map of Lesotho Highlands Water Project

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JOHANNESBURG - Temporary shelters and construction equipment for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project have been washed away by floods at the Polihali dam site in Mokhotlong.

Heavy rainfall has filled up rivers and dams, causing flooding that has left a trail of destruction.

Roads, homes and crops have been submerged or washed away.

The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority said that no employees were injured at the Polihali dam site in Mokhotlong but it had been evacuated and work had been temporarily suspended.

Spokesperson Masilo Phakoe said that permanent infrastructure was not threatened but the flooding would have far-reaching cost implications and would lead to delays in water delivery to South Africa.

Lesotho’s minister of health, Motlatsi Maqelepo, announced on Thursday night that the hard COVID-19 lockdown was now lifted on construction companies and building material supply stores to allow emergency rebuilding.

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