European Union External Action

Lesotho Lowlands Water Development Project - Phase II (LLWDP II)

09/10/2019 - 11:40
Transport and Infrustructure

The objective of this project is to ensure that populations of the Lowlands regions in Lesotho have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in line with the country's “Vision 2020" strategy. The project operates in the main towns of Maputsoe, Hlotse, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek.

(c) EIB


Project overview


The main objective of this project is to improve secure access to water and sanitation in four priority geographical zones (2, 3, 6 and 7) in the Lowlands Region of Lesotho, corresponding to the main towns of Maputsoe, Hlotse, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek and surrounding towns. A secondary objective is to ensure the inclusive socio-economic and climate-resilient development of the Lowlands Region. 


The Action consists of two components: i) the development of infrastructure for increased and reliable potable bulk water supply and sanitation services, and ii) strengthening the institutional capacity of local water authorities to operate and maintain the infrastructure. By providing sustainable water supply services to the population, the project will also help the service providers to better cope with climate change impacts in the project areas.


The project blends financing from four main sources. An EU grant of EUR 41 million is complemented by a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of EUR 82 million. The Government of Lesotho contributes EUR 10.2 million to the project and the World Bank contributes a loan amouting to EUR 67.1 million loan.

Signature date

April 2020


6 years (72 Months)

Implementing organisation

European Investment Bank (EIB)




This is the second phase of the larger Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme (LLWSS). The first phase, known as the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP), was also co-financed by the EIB. The MDWSP included the construction of the 83-meter high Metolong Dam, the construction of water treatment works and advancing the supporting infrastructure. The Dam already provides safe drinking water to the country's capital, Maseru, and other major towns north and south of it such as Teyateyaneng and Roma.

The preparation of the LLWSS started under the 9th EDF with technical assistance from the EU that developed the original design for the provision of bulk water to the entire Lowlands Region. This technical assistance resulted in the preparation of feasibility studies, designs and tender documents for the eight zones forming the Lowlands Region by the Lowlands Water Joint Venture in 2008. A water resources study also funded by the EU identified the least-cost, long-term solution for bulk supply to Maseru and the surrounding Lowlands Region (covering part of zones 4 and 5), what is known as the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP) - LLWDP Phase I.

Moreover, in 2008, the European Investment Bank, the European Union through its Water Facility and the Government of Lesotho implemented the Maseru Wastewater Project with a similar approach of a blending grant with concessional loans in order to leverage more financing. The project developed the mid-term strategy for the provision of a modern and environmentally friendly system of wastewater collection and treatment within the administrative boundaries of Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The project consisted of the rehabilitation and extension measures for the improvement of the wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems in town areas where a piped sewerage system existed or proved justified.

The EU is also involved in Water Diplomacy in Lesotho in order to strengthen transboundary water cooperation at the basin and regional level, with the purpose to obtain a sustainable and peaceful management of shared water resources. Water diplomacy aims at increasing political awareness and support to transboundary water cooperation. Discussions have been raised around water availability, quality, efficiency, cooperation & water diplomacy in the Orasecom Region within the different EU Delegations in the Region. Moreover discussions around the latter have also been conducted with the Government of Lesotho.           

Benefitting zone(s)

The Lowlands Region of Lesotho, corresponding to the main towns of Maputsoe, Hlotse, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek and surrounding towns.


Total amount

200.3 million

EU contracted amount

41 million

Government of Lesotho contracted amount

€ 10.2 million

EIB contracted amount (loan)

82 million

World Bank contracted amount (loan)

  67.1 million

Funding instrument of EU:

Blending facility - 11th EDF under the Africa Investment Plan                  


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