Intentionally holding women back from accessing financial resources such as compensation for affected land is a form of Gender-Based Violence. Thirty-five-year-old woman (name withheld) from the village of Masakong which is currently being affected by the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II says her father received money amounting to M200,000.00 as compensation for their fields, which have been affected by the projects. In an interview with Seinoli, she mentions that when this money was issued, her father did not inform her and her four siblings about the money. Instead, he used the money to build a single-room brick house and purchased furniture for the house.

Figure 2 The house which was built with the money issued for compensation of affected fields.

She continued to mention that she squabbles with her father whenever she requests him to give her money for her late sister’ daughter who is unable to go to school. She furthered to say her father willingly gives his lover this money who occasionally comes to their home.

Mamokoma (not real name) is a single parent to three children, one is disabled, whom because of her predicament, is forced to live with their father. She indicated that the severity of this has mostly been felt by her, her children and her late sister’s daughter as they are assisted by neighboring relatives, with food and other basic needs. When asked how the affected fields contributed towards their means of livelihood, she responded to say they never went hungry as the fields provided them with various foods such as five large bags of maize meal, sugar beans, sorghum, and also grew potatoes.

Figure 1 Victim with her disabled daughter and son photographed above.

In the attempt to get help, she claims to have involved some of the relatives and also reported this matter to the police but there hasn’t been any resolution. The family is yet to receive compensation for affected trees, which she hopes will be allocated accordingly amongst her and her siblings as they did not benefit at all from the money given to his father.

This case is a typical example of Gender-based violence resulting from poor allocation of compensation for affected land, which increases women’s dependency and vulnerability.