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Chinese bring relief to Thabong

 

Mohalenyane Phakela

THE water challenges of the Thabong II community in the Thaba Tseka district are now a thing of the past, thanks to the Chinese business people who handed over a borehole on Friday.

For 74-year-old Monare Letsema, the borehole was more than just a gift- it was a life changing moment.

The Sunday Express was on hand to witness him drag his old frame to the borehole while leaning on an old plank before turning on the tap to draw the precious liquid.

“We used to travel a very long distance to get water from the wells either at Malipotsanyane or Ha Letooane,” a beaming Letsema said.

”I live with my wife and two grandchildren and well-wishers with cars would from time to time assist us by getting us water. But we are many in this village and so they could only give each family 20 litres which we had to use sparingly for three days.

“This borehole is so close to home and it will completely change our lives as we will no longer stress about fetching water from afar, thanks to Mokhoenyane (the nickname for one of the Chinese businessmen) and his colleagues.”

For his part, Xue ‘Mokhoenyane’ Feng said they came up with the project after witnessing the plight of their customers.

“We were touched to see some of the people drinking water from the well which is also used by animals.

“This started about three years ago when Thaba Tseka was hit by a prolonged drought which crippled our water supply and severely affected all major water sources.

“We did this because these are the people who support our businesses and if our customers are suffering, that means we are affected too. We also regard ourselves as part of the community and this borehole will be of great help to us all,” he said.

Song Chongqing, the Charge d’ Affairs and Political Counsellor of Chinese Embassy to Lesotho, said his country was committed to helping improve Basotho lives.

“The China-Lesotho People-to-People Action Fund has been increasingly active in helping Basotho in various needs in recent years.

“This fund is a social organisation solely sponsored by the Chinese business community in Lesotho and it has been able to support Basotho through bursaries, groceries and water boreholes among other things.

“Two days ago during the opening of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the president pointed out that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. He further indicated that China is still the largest developing country and will work together with other nations. With a stronger and more developed China, our friendship and cooperation will surely bring more tangible benefits to our two people,” he said.

Giving a vote of thanks on behalf of the government, Development Planning Minister, Tlohelang Aumane, urged the community to protect the borehole.

“These kind of water facilities are not the first to be donated but within a short time become redundant due to negligence.

“Please think of ways to protect this borehole and ensure that there is never a time that it stops working even if it means people have to pay to draw water so that you can be able to raise funds to fix it. It should not be used as a car wash or as a means of avoiding water bills.

“It is heartening that the Chinese business people do not just see us as customers but as a brethren hence their assistance. Let us ensure that they live in peace so that they can continue to help us,” Mr Aumane said.

 

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