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Country analysis > Lesotho Last update: 2019-12-09  
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Feedback report on the study of HIV/AIDS and its impacts on land tenure and livelihoods in Lesotho

 
6. Community's recommendations as a way forward

  1. LEGALISATION OF MAFISA AND SHARECROPPING

    An acknowledgement was made that sharecropping and Mafisa will, for a long time remain important to the livelihoods of the infected and affected households. Therefore a recommendation was made that Mafisa and sharecropping should be legalised to protect the rights of the infected and affected households since they are often cheated out through the same arrangements. In the same token the other partners would be assured of the fact that arrangements would not be terminated abruptly. There should be a mechanism to institute witnesses when contractual arrangements are made. Chiefs and close relatives should be involved in such arrangements.


  2. MINIMISATION OF WITHDRAWING CHILDREN FROM SCHOOL

    • Participants proposed a need to create an educational fund in the community that will cater for school fees of the infected and affected households.


    • They also indicated that there is a need to implement the Free Education Policy that is currently being implemented at lower levels of primary school, to higher levels of education as well particularly because this is the level where school fees are more expensive and unaffordable.


    • Another suggestion was made that parents should be compelled to invest in their children’s education through insurances. Innovative, User-friendly insurance schemes need to be developed by the government especially in the rural areas. These insurances, they explained should not only cater for school fees but the livelihoods and welfare of orphans as well.


  3. PROHIBITING SALE OF LAND

    The sale of arable land should be prohibited. Such a piece of land can be rented out or be used for sharecropping if the owning household is not able to utilise it. It is interesting to note that this proposal contradicts the proposed land policy, which advocated for the sale of land.


  4. STIGMATISATION AND DISCRIMINATION

    A suggestion was made that there need to protect HIV/AIDS people by enacting a law that will enforce the infected people's human rights. The community be educated on how HIV/AIDS infected people should be treated. There should also be a legal protection for the widows and orphans such that a widow has a right to control property after her husband's death. Thus, legislation and policies on the rights of widows to their husband’s properties be strengthened and publicised. Similarly, the orphans should be availed the same on their parents property. Confidentiality and secrecy associated with HIV/AIDS has made people wary and suspicious. Thus, infected people should go public so that the caretakers can take necessary precautions and more importantly so that resources aimed at helping them can be targeted directly to them.


  5. COMMUNITY SAFETY NETS

    There is a need to revive the traditional culture of helping each other when need or disaster arises. For example, people who have harvested a lot should help the vulnerable ones. Meanwhile the government should subsidise farming activities and the infected and affected households should have a share in the proceedings. However, it should be devised such that it does not create dependence among the population. People should work hard and be encouraged to invest while they are still healthy so that the same investment can help them later in the future when they happen to fall sick. Similarly, the community should be advised to help the sick like it was done in the past.


  6. LAND POLICIES AND FALLOW LAND

    The current policy of two years under which land is allowed to fallow should be reviewed and increased to five years before it is confiscated. However, that might encourage arable land to lie idle for all that the period and thus, to counteract that sharecropping should be used to stop land from falling fallow. There should be proper examination as to why land was left fallow before it can be legally taken from the owner.


  7. RESOURCES /STRATEGIES THAT CAN BE USED TO MITIGATE THE IMPACTS OF HIV/AIDS

    • Royalties of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) should be used to curb HIV/AIDS and at least quarter of its annual income should contribute towards the children's education funds.


    • Similarly, light income generating activities need to be created to provide income to the infected households and nutritious food distributed to resuscitate the sick. However, this arrangement should be such that it does not create dependency on the handouts.


    The workshop concluded with a presentation of the recommendations that had emanated from the FAO/SARPN study. These were discussed at length since participants wanted to be clear of their implications. In the end they concurred with them and indicated that researchers must ensure that their own recommendations are incorporated within those. A special request was made that they would like to be represented when these are passed to the decision-makers.

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