From a distance, the Katse dam is a spectacle of engineering. It has been constructed to the highest engineering standards in the world and various parts of the project have won international recognised awards.

The dam has nonetheless caused untold suffering amongst the 20, 000 people whose livelihoods have been affected by construction of the dam.
The communities living around the Katse dam have suffered numerous setbacks as a result of the dam. One of the most critical setbacks has been the decline in food security as their arable lands were inundated. LHDA put in place a compensation plan for the lost fields but the compensation has fallen far short of the expectations of local communities as they say they are receiving paltry payments which have condemned the villagers to poverty and starvation.