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Lesotho Urban Upgrading Project (LUUP)

Keywords: Economic Development
Homelessness & Housing


The primary objective of the project was to support the Government of Lesotho on its programme of decentralisation of government to secondary urban centres. It aimed at improving social and economic opportunities by upgrading the physical infrastructure, social facilities and access to housing for lower income families. The sites and services project provided families with a building material loan and a total of two hundred and sixty-seven (267) families built themselves starter houses. These ranged from a minimum of two-rooms to a maximum of three. The self help method where families are guided by the LHLDC saw a number of families actually actually built themselves while others employed small contractors whose performance was subjected to the Corporation's technical staff's scrutiny.


Social Acceptance and Consensus
LUUP was the first integrated urban development project undertaken in the country. Despite this, it demonstrated the Government's commitment to urban development, a commitment directed at improving the lives of the urban poort. Its acceptance by the target group ensured that both its implementation and completion were not only on time but raised the public's awareness on strategies, policies and programmes that enable practical and attainable improvements not only within shelter and neighbourhoods but also the economy of the catchment (project) area.

Proven Practice: LUUP addressed immediate and practical problems as well as looking to the future in a progressive and imaginative way. It showed the importance of planning with and for the low income groups without sacrificing anything.

Promotion of Partnership: The project promoted amongst others partnerships between various government agencies and the private sector. During roads upgrading, those affected by roads alignments or widening accepted the improvement without hesitation thus ensuring that no legal measures were instituted to force compliance; it was a project for the people and they effectively participated in its execution.


267 families built themselves starter houses

134 of these families were female and heads of households with a minimum of three dependents

A further 183 families receive sites only

Four housing developments for 450 families provides shelter for 2,250 persons

20 to 25 households share a water standpipe

toilets constructed in 8 selected primary schools

30 km of road upgraded, creating 200 jobs


The LUUP provided material improvement and security of tenure to the low income families who would have otherwise been accommodated in the informal settlements void of basic services. The project established a revolving fund administered by the Lesotho Bank with the purpose of reinvesting the money in similar projects country-wide. In Lesotho's context this is an important step where self-reliance is vigorously promoted. Its broad principles, which encourages close coordination between Government agencies and the people, upgrading of services to ensure that local authorities ultimately sustain themselves through collection of taxes, will without reservation be replicated in many other secondary towns in Lesotho.


    Mr.E. R. Mapetla, Managing Director
    P O Box 460, Maseru
    266 1 313736 Fax: 266 1 310185


    Lesotho Housing and Land Development Corporation (LHLDC)
    E. R. Mapetla, Managing Director, LHLDC
    P.O. Box 460
    266 1 313736; Fax: 266 1 310185


    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Mr. S.H. Sekatle, Ministry of Local Govt
    P.O. Box 686
    Maseru - 100
    Fax: 266 1 310318

    John van Nostrand
    696 Yonge Street, Suite 603
    M4Y 2A7
    1 416 9214377; Fax: 1 416 9210874

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