SUN-JV and Kopano Ke Matla-JV offer free medical services to Polihali communities

By Lieketseng Moeketsi, Motlakamang Mohlokoane and Kananelo Ndunduzela


Last week in Mokhotlong SUN JV together with Kopano Ke Matla JV offered free basic and emergency services to communities living around the Polihali Dam Site and the Polihali Tunnel construction site in Malingoaneng. 

The SUNJV General Manager Mr Hou Fuqiang explained that the social responsibility towards the medical care was not only for the 2 days but there is going to be a clinic for the duration of Polihali main works construction.  “The community members will receive free medical services until the construction of the dam is completed. The clinic is aimed to bring closer the services to residents around Malingoaneng village,” he said.

China Aid brought nine specialists from china medical team to conduct elderly health check-up at Polihali Mokhotlong including physician, radiologist, surgeon, gynaecologist, acupuncturist from Motebang Hospital in Leribe. One of the residents, expressed her gratitude and stated how happy she was with the services her neighbours received even though she was not able to get examined because she got to the camp late.

One member of SUN JV explained that people who came to get medical services at the labour camp nearby the Polihali Dam construction received grocery hampers, items such as maize meal, cooking oil, salt, and sugar, box of matches, a packet of candles so as to meet their needs. She further pointed out that the estimated amount spent on these goods is more than M20, 000.00.

China medical team are busy attending to people’s lives providing the much needed medical emergency services. This is where they found out that 52 year-old Mr Ts’eliso Sekonyela of Malingoaneng Mokhotlong who unfortunately had to be transferred to Motebang Hospital Leribe due to critical medical conditions.

At the end of the services, all patients are given special gift packs – grocery hampers. One of the people who received medical help from the clinic as well as the food package, ‘Machaka Morapalla who resides at Hamonakalali village said they were called from their village to get medical assistant here. She said she is very thankful for the Chinese for bringing services closer to them which includes counselling and others. Mrs Morapalla said they had to travel a long distance to get medication before as they had to go to the Mapholaneng clinic or Mokhotlong hospital where there are many people per doctor and they would sometimes get the chance to see the doctor but be unlucky to get medicine because they would be unavailable or finished therefore the Chinese are doing a great job.

In one of the shelters Chinese workers are checking the hampers ensuring there are no extras or shortage of anything in the packs. They made sure that people got the equal share of everything that was being given. However, it is really a kind gesture and very big of them to come through for Basotho, it is clear that humanity still exists.

It is now day two at Malingoaneng village in Mokhotlong District and it is still cold as people here are seen putting on heavy winter clothes. In this camp, there are so many park homes at this site. One of these park homes has a red flag that is written “China Aid for shared future” and a logo in white that is pinned in front right above the door is being used to offer medical services to the villagers. People are seen sitting on chairs in front of this park home and a lot of them are elders so not standing on lines before being assisted is what is contributing to make this job a success.

One Mosotho man is assisting a Chinese doctor by translating from Sesotho to English giving a speech about the services that are going to be offered to the people who came to the clinic. He said the people from Malingoaneng and from the neighboring villages will no longer have to travel a long distance for medical services when the building of the hospital in this village is done with. The Chinese have offered to show some of the traditional medicines that come from their country to them. They believe these medicine are used to cure certain diseases and according to their research, these medicines have no side effects therefore the villagers have nothing to worry about. He then introduced them to one Chinese woman who was said to teach them about all those traditional medicine.

After some time the people are now seen each one of them has received one bag of the packaged food parcels and they put them in front of them. The majority of people who came for the medical treatment here are females. The males are seen in few numbers.

It is at the same place where the paramedics are examining an elderly man who later left the camp in an ambulance. It looked like his health was at risk as he was later rushed to the Mokhotlong hospital. The same ambulance serves the community of Malingoaneng and the entire construction workers wherever in need. It is said that people need to walk long distances in order to seek medical help therefore the Chinese coming to this village is a really good thing as they have already brought services to the people in the rural areas of Lesotho. A villager remarks that this is also a good initiative that will address mostly needed medical services.

Finally the Chinese are doing a great job to help Basotho who lives in the highlands clinically as there is already poor clinical services and if the government of Lesotho can support such projects this country would benefit socially.

SUN Joint Venture is the honourable contractor awarded the building of the dam and preliminary works.  SUN Joint Venture, comprising main partners: Sinohydro Bureau 8 (China); Sinohydro Bureau 14 (China); Unik Civil Engineering  (South Africa) and Nthane Brothers (Lesotho). Subcontractors include Melki Civils and Plant Hire (South Africa); MECSA Construction (South Africa); SIGMA Construction (Lesotho) and Kunming Engineering (China). The Kopano Ke Matla joint venture will construct the Polihali Transfer Tunnel, and includes Yellow River Company (China); Sinohydro Bureau 3 (China); Unik Civil Engineering (South Africa), as the main joint venture partners. Subcontractors include Nthane Brothers of Lesotho, Esor Construction and Mecsa Construction of South Africa.