According to a press statement released by LHDA on April 1, the series of public gatherings which began on March 16 and ran until March 20 reached communities in five electoral divisions in the project area in Mokhotlong. The purpose of the public gatherings was to provide local communities with a menu of viable, sustainable livelihood options to consider for implementation as they prepare to take advantage of the opportunities created by the implementation of Phase II or to mitigate against potential negative effects of the Project.
“The public gatherings focused on familiar, sustainable livelihood activities some of which are already practiced in the Phase II area with a view to supporting local communities to move from subsistence production to commercializing their small livelihood generating activities,” explains LHDA CEO Tente Tente. The livelihood options include farm-and off-farm activities such as raising poultry and pigs and developing handcrafts businesses to serve the tourism industry.
“We are facing a serious challenge of high unemployment and the livelihood options awareness programme opens up possibilities for potential small businesses that our people can start using the local resources in collaboration with LHDA and its partner institutions. We are a community whose livelihoods are mainly based on subsistence farming and the prevailing climate change conditions hinder progress,” stated Chief Abia Leuta of Likhameng, Maluba-lube at one of the gatherings.