Maseru, Lesotho: Wednesday, 15 April 2024 – Standard Lesotho Bank (SLB) demonstrated its unwavering commitment to environmental conservation by spearheading the inaugural National Tree Planting Day held in Ha Ts’iu, Thaba-Tseka.

This nationwide initiative, geared towards mitigating the detrimental impacts of global warming and soil erosion, received a significant boost from the bank, which generously donated eighty-two thousand (82,000) trees distributed across various districts. Notably, ten thousand (10 000) trees were planted specifically in Ha-Tsiu, marking a significant step towards sustainable land conservation in the region

SLB solidified its commitment to environmental sustainability by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in 2021, pledging an investment of six hundred thousand Maloti (M600 000.00) to aid the ministry in procuring trees for widespread planting initiatives.

Renewing its dedication this year, the bank extended the MoU, increasing its investment to a total of seven hundred and fifty thousand Maloti (M750 000.00), ensuring continued support for national tree planting efforts until 2026.

Graced by the presence of His Majesty King Letsie III, alongside the Right Honorable Prime Minister Samuel Ntsokoane Matekane, and Minister of Environment and Forestry, Mr. Letsema Adontši, the initiative drew support from various stakeholders, including World Vision Lesotho and Vodacom Lesotho.

Notably, Vodacom Lesotho supported the bank in tree planting in Ha Ntsi, Maseru, while World Vision supported tree planting in Matelile, Mafeteng district.

Mr. Manyathela Kheleli, Brand and Marketing Manager-Communications and Sponsorship at SLB, speaking on behalf of the bank’s Chief Executive, emphasized the bank’s commitment to environmental conservation, stating,

“At Standard Lesotho Bank, we say that Lesotho is our home, and we drive her growth. This simply means that the kingdom of Lesotho is our home, and we strive to see it grow.

Today, we have taken an active role to address some of the many hurdles faced by Lesotho and the world globally, regarding the safeguarding of the natural environment with tree planting.”

He continues, “Global warming resulting in severe droughts, storms, and unusually high temperatures and the resultant damage to crops underscores the urgent need for arresting the challenges of the ozone layer,  that can only be arrested by tree planting.

Standard Lesotho Bank is dedicated to understanding and addressing this issue comprehensively. Our involvement in the tree planting initiative spans three years, during which we have demonstrated unwavering support.”

The National Tree Planting Day at Ha Tšiu, Thaba-Tseka stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, with the bank at the forefront of environmental stewardship. Through their sustained commitment, they aim to safeguard Lesotho’s natural resources and foster a sustainable future for generations to come.

In his closing remarks, His Majesty King Letsie III expresses gratitude to all participants for their continued support of the initiative. He urges the community to nurture the planted trees and calls upon the Ministry of Forestry and Environment to ensure proper follow-up on the nationwide planting efforts, allowing donors to witness the tangible impact of their contributions.