The Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) has appointed PSG Heritage Solutions to develop and implement a comprehensive Cultural Heritage Plan that will protect and manage Lesotho’s rich cultural heritage during the construction and operation of Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
The projects objectives include promoting the protection of cultural heritage sites and artefacts such as burial sites; Stone Age occupation sites, mainly in rock shelters, and settlements dating back to the Iron Age, some of which are still inhabited; rock art; preserving the nation’s oral history and raising national cultural heritage awareness.
Refiloe Tlali, CE of the LHDA, says the LHDA is committed to following internationally recognised practices in preserving and managing Lesotho’s cultural heritage, as well as delivering the plan in consultation with, and ensuring the participation of, local communities and at the same time, strengthening Lesotho’s cultural heritage expertise.
In line with UNESCO conventions
The Cultural Heritage Plan will be developed in line with the country’s heritage legislation and the conventions of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the International Centre for the Study and Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1975) to which Lesotho is a signatory.
The South African-based PGS Heritage Solutions team includes local partners and will promote the development of Basotho nationals in the discipline of archaeology and heritage management.
The scope of services includes reviewing and updating the inventory of cultural heritage resources in the area to be inundated by the Polihali reservoir; implementing mitigation measures through mapping, recording and excavation; and recording and describing intangible cultural heritage including living history and archival research.