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Lesotho: New Urban Agenda (NUA), Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) to Promote Sustainable Urban Development

Lesotho: New Urban Agenda (NUA), Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) to Promote Sustainable Urban Development
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Lesotho: New Urban Agenda (NUA), Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) to Promote Sustainable Urban DevelopmentCollaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on localizing and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) will bring an enormous impact because it will allow Lesotho to promote sustainable urban development within the context and challenges of a rapidly urbanizing world.

This, the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, Mr. Lefu Manyokole said during the National Housing Policy Dissemination, the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme and New Urban Agenda workshop held in Maseru on Thursday.

Mr. Manyokole said the NUA was adopted at the 2016 United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, laying out a universal framework for housing and sustainable urban development.


He said it envisages a city that offers among others the right to adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, without discrimination, sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and universal access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation.

He mentioned that PSUP was launched in 2008 and implemented in Lesotho in 2012 in response to the challenge of slums, urban poverty, and unsustainable urbanisation trends, noting that it is funded by the European Commission through political mobilisation of the organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACP) and implemented by the UN-Habitat.

He noted that the successful implementation of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) aims to trigger a change to make a real difference in the lives of slum dwellers and contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 11 target 11.1 as well as the implementation of the NUA for inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

Mr. Manyokole said PSUP seeks to tackle urban poverty through adaptive and proactive measures to enhance the management of urbanization through assessment studies and strategic planning approaches for participatory and inclusive decision-making processes and up-scaled participatory slum upgrading.

He further said PSUP’s approach is aligned with the National Housing Policy, NUA and the SDGs tested in many African Caribbean Pacific (OACP) countries with many success stories, lessons to be learnt and opportunities for upscaling.

He said in the past, slum upgrading has been approached on a project-to-project basis and experience has shown that this approach is ineffective because it has rarely gained scale and replication, adding that to make slum upgrading sustainable there is a current shift towards strategic and inclusive city-wide slum upgrading with pro-active measures which PSUP is implementing.

Moreover, he said there has been considerable progress made in transforming living conditions in informal settlements and slums in Lesotho through the PSUP, noting that the achievements include Lesotho Housing Profile, National Urban Profile, Maputsoe Urban Profile, Mafeteng Urban Profile, and the National Housing Policy.

In conclusion, he said the profiles have demonstrated the impact of spatial inequalities on how divided cities are and how fundamental human rights are not met for many city dwellers, stressing that the National Housing Policy and the profiles are followed by the ongoing national slum upgrading and prevention strategy and city-wide strategy approaches which seek to integrate slum upgrading with the wider development budget and plans.

Speaking at the same event, UN-Habitat PSUP Kenya, Mr. Joshua Maviti said the NUA is aligned with SDG’s goals thus promoting urban development and human settlement.

Mr. Maviti said they have been working with Lesotho on the PSUP and NUA to ensure that by 2030 they have upgraded the slums into adequate housing for Basotho.

He said NUA principles promote cities and adequate housing for all without leaving no one, saying this is to ensure that everyone has access to infrastructures.

He further noted that NUA ensures participation in the national framework and policy formulation and all other development plans that are beneficial to Basotho.

The acting Housing Director in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, Ms. Mamphaka Mabesa said the National Housing Policy’s mandate is to eliminate inequalities in land and house rights, saying it will improve land use planning and management.

Ms. Mabesa said House Policy will reduce unplanned settlements with limited services that are rapidly growing in an unplanned manner without adequate provision of basic infrastructure.

She mentioned that NUA promotes equal rights to adequate housing and fundamental freedom along with functional social and civic systems with participatory access towards achieving sustainable cities and livable human settlements.

She said the government needs to provide affordable housing as this will reduce the increase of unplanned settlements resulting in slum conditions.

On the same note, the Housing Officer, Mr. Seeisa Seeisa said National Housing Policy will be implemented under agenda 2030, which promotes access to adequate housing and upgrading of slums in the country.

Similar workshops were held in other districts that include Butha-Buthe, Mokhotlong, Leribe, Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, Qacha’s Nek and Thaba-Tseka.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Government of Lesotho.

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Lesotho: New Urban Agenda (NUA), Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) to Promote Sustainable Urban Development


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