Involuntary displacement and urban resettlement in the Lesotho Highlands Water Project
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As urbanization is a defining issue of the 21st century. The World Commission on Dams (2000) estimates that the globe´s 45 000 large dams (p. 11) have displaced between 40-80 million people (p. 104). Although it is undeniable that some projects will always have an aspect of resettlement tethered to them, the current economic theories and methods of analysis that govern polices need to be changed. This project studies rural-urban migration in cases of involuntary displacement in the phase 1B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. It seeks to answer methodological question such as; what advances in the SLA debate support its utilization in urban contexts? How can cases of involuntary rural-urban migration in the LHWP inform the debate? As such, the framework used to in this study adapts to local conditions and contexts by acknowledging the effects of rural-urban migration and involuntary resettlement on Basotho livelihoods. Furthermore, by compiling a comparative Sustainable Livelihood Analysis (SLA) between resettlers rural and urban livelihoods, it aims to inform LHWP planners, and add to the debate regarding SLA uptake in urban areas. Without a better understanding of how vulnerabilities threaten relocated peoples, the inequalities between project gainers and losers will amplify (Cernea, 2003). The contexts in in which households pursue livelihoods determine their vulnerability. For example, rural households face different challenges and opportunities than urban households.