The Transformation Resource Centre supported by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary facilitated a dialogue session in Mokhotlong for Polihali Dam affected communities, the LHDA officials, Natural Resource Cluster and Government. The session interrogated the ceaseless concerns of the affected communities regarding compensation, resettlement, pastures, employment opportunities, and with great focus on water and sanitation rights among others. The Centre organised the session with the aim that the fears and concerns of affected communities are responded to by LHDA and other relevant stakeholders and newly collected concerns are documented and given specific timeframes for redress. The Centre also made great effort for the Ministry of Water affairs, Natural Resource Cluster, Mokhotlong MPs and LHDA commit to affected communities in the Polihali catchment in enabling access to clean water and sanitation.
TRC capacitates CSOs and HRDs on how to engage with African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Special Rapporteurs
Transformation Resource Centre organised a capacity building workshop for HRDs and CSOs to learn on how best they can engage with the African Commission mechanism to ensure promotion and protection of human rights in Lesotho, the activity took place at Maseru Avani on the 26th September 2019. The Centre saw the need for HRDs and CSOs to know which mechanisms they can exhaust when faced with rampant human rights violations and closing civic space especially with the consideration of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights as one such mechanism which can be useful through its working committees and special rapporteurs to address problems faced by HRDs and CSOs at national level. The activity aimed at ensuring that HRDs and CSOs in Lesotho effectively engage with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with a view of promoting and protecting human rights in Lesotho. It also capacitated the HRDs and CSOs in applying for an Observer Status with the African Commission in order to advance the promotion and protection of human rights within communities.
TRC facilitated youth sessions in Maseru, Mafeteng and Mokhotlong from the 27th to the 30th August 2019 and will further hold a similar session in Botha-Bothe. Youth were capacitated on their right to participate and obligation to demand and hold local authorities accountable on issues of concern to them in order to have a voice in community developments. The Centre had learned that youth participation and civic engagement is extremely low and may lead to increasing youth marginalization and exclusion from the benefits that accrue from politics and civic engagement. Young people were made aware of the policies and laws that enable and promote their participation in community developments. TRC encouraged young people to take part in demanding their rights and questioning developments implemented around them.
The Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) through the GEF project supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over merino rams to the communities of Malubalube and Popa-Kanana on the 30th August 2019 in Mokhotlong district. The purpose of the project is to promote rearing of quality flock and production of wool and mohair for commercial consumption. The project also initiates zero grazing by stimulating large-scale fodder supply for local farmers in communities through skills gained in fodder production, quality breeding and availed opportunities for starting agroindustry on large scale. TRC in preparatory to the ram donation had empowered communities and strengthened local initiatives in range management, land reclamation for fodder production in order to address range damage and soil erosion. The communities built gabions, planted fruit trees, protected and regulated rangelands and produced fodder. The project responds to challenges of scarce land which animals compete over and has therefore resulted in overgrazing. The communities within Polihali catchement also face problems whereby some of their land will be inundated by water.
The Transformation Resource Centre held a human rights session with Zimbabwe Military College senior staff and students who have come on a study tour in Lesotho through the Lesotho Defense Force invitation. The Centre held discussions on the history of human rights situation in the country to the present situation. The Zimbabwe Military College were also briefed on the civil-military relations in Lesotho which the Centre reckon has quite improved in the current army administration.