Heavy Rains Crack Lesotho Dam, Communities Concerned

This season's good rainfalls have caused concern in Lesotho, where one of the world's highest rockfall dams has sprung a leak. United Nations news agency IRIN reports that one panel of the 145m high Mohale dam wall has developed a crack, and neighbouring communities are worried about the seepage that could result if the crack is severe.

The Mohale dam is one of two dams that comprise the first phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which is being built to supply Gauteng with water. Lesotho gets nearly three quarters of its budget through the royalties charged for supplying water to South Africa. If completed, the NGO International Rivers Network say that the five dams intended in the water project will displace 30,000 rural farmers and remove their livelihoods.

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