By: T’soloane Mohlomi
The villages around the Lekokoaneng area located along the Main-North 1 Road in the Berea district will finally receive a sufficient supply of water, this after years of struggle and strife.
The supply comes after the Ministry of Natural Resources finally unveiling Mango Tree Construction as the contractor which will execute the connection of water supply pipes from the Metolong Dam to about 23 villages in the area, in a project estimated to cost close to M40 Million.
Facilitated through the Lesotho Lowlands Water Development Project (LLWDP), the Lesotho Lowlands Rural Water Supply and Sanitation initiative (LLRWSS), project construction is expected to last for a duration of eight months and create over 50 jobs for the local community.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony held at Lits’iling Village in Lekokoaneng, the Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Mohlomi Moleko said as Lesotho was part of the United Nations (UN), they like other UN members were looking to align themselves with the international body’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG), which seeks to ensure that everyone receives access to clean water by the year 2030.
Minister Mohlomi articulated that water is a basic need and as a Ministry they are looking to ensure that problems brought about by insufficient supplies were a thing of the past going forward.
“We really do want to follow through with the stated projections guided by the UN and its stated relevant SDG’s and want to see to it that everyone in Lesotho will have an adequate supply of water by the year 2030,”he said.
“If you look at the projects we are currently undertaking at the moment, you will realize that we are trying as much as possible to move towards those targets. I have a firm belief that we can be successful because of the various government institutions which will be of assistance.
“Ladies and gentlemen , It would be utterly shameful of our government, if 19 million South Africans which we supply water, can have adequate and sufficient supplies of water from our, country, while a mere 2million people of Lesotho can’t enjoy the same privilege while living in one of the most water rich countries in Africa.
“So having these great projected goals for our country, now the biggest question having achieved those goals will be whether we sell this water to Basotho or not. Ladies and gentlemen having more water than most countries surrounding us like Botswana and Eswatini, we should strive to ensure that we sell the water to these countries and make a profit, but we should have it for free, minister Moleko added.
Minister Moleko additionally said that there are other projects in the pipeline which will be implemented with the objective of ensuring that the whole Berea district has sufficient supplies of water and said that as a ministry they have one particular project currently in its development stage which needed roughly about M100 million which they would be requesting in the next financial year.
In around April this year the Ministry of Natural Resources through LLRWSS will launch the Lowlands Phase II project which will supply the areas of Butha-Buthe and Hlotse with water, while Lowlands III will supply the areas of Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek.
Coordinating committee chairman Mr Beleng Malebo thanked the Ministry for the project and said due to the work that was going to be done, lives are definitely going to change and it will surely leave a positive impact.
The Senekane Community Council chairman Mr Mokoma Mahaba expressed delight at having the project commence in their area. He said that the community had converged there because of a very precious gift which is water. Saying he wished the community would value what they were receiving and preserve it, so that the government would be enabled to ensure water is accessible in all areas in the country.
“The first thing in life is water and we can all agree that we have gathered here due to a very precious and important gift which we are to receive. A gift which will give us life, and we hope the community of this area who are going to receive this gift can look after, care and preserve it, for their own good and those of others.
“We tend to have this challenge in our communities where you find that after a huge project like this one, recipients usually don’t look after the remaining infrastructure and the problem arising in such an eventuality is government being hampered in ensuring that other areas benefit from such essential needs,” he said.