The construction of permanent housing, a visitors’ lodge and associated infrastructure at the Polihali Village is set to start in January after the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) awarded the construction tender to the Polihali Village Joint Venture (JV) in December 2021.
Construction on the contract, valued about at M454-million is expected to be completed in October 2023.
The Polihali Village JV comprises Lesotho-based LSP Construction and the South African construction firm WBHO, which were JV partners on the civil works and bulk utilities at Polihali and Katse that were completed towards the end of 2021.
“The permanent housing will become a Phase II legacy estate. Energy efficiency, sustainability and sensitivity to the rural landscape underpin its design,” says LHDA Phase II divisional manager Ntsoli Maiketso.
The 96 units include single quarters and one-, two- and three-bedroom houses to accommodate Polihali dam and Polihali transfer tunnel consultants during the construction of the Phase II main works, as well as LHDA staff during and post construction.
The proposed four-star visitors’ lodge, the building composition and layout of which will be influenced by the nature of the terrain and site orientation, will be located on a vantage point overlooking the future dam and reservoir to maximise views of the Polihali dam.
“The facilities developed around the Katse dam and the Mohale dam under similar contracts for Phase I of the LHWP are still being used today and have contributed to the growth of the country’s tourism industry.”
Other infrastructure to be constructed under the Polihali Village construction contract includes a recreational facility and a temporary five-classroom school.
The Phase II housing construction contracts have been designed to enable local participation, especially of small and medium-sized contractors, in keeping with the terms of Article 10 of the Phase II Agreement.
They have been divided into four works packages: the construction of the Polihali Village, construction of the Polihali Commercial Centre, construction of the Polihali Operations Centre and the Katse Village upgrades contract awarded to Unik Construction in December 2021.
Procurement processes for the remaining two contracts are at an advanced stage.
Polihali Infrastructure Consultants, comprising the South Africa-based Mott MacDonald PDNA and Khatleli Tomane Moteane Architects of Lesotho, was awarded the contract for the planning, design and construction supervision of the project housing and associated infrastructure in 2015.