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Drowning fourth most common killer

king letsieLimpho Sello

MASERU — Lesotho Royal Life sav­ing Association (RLLA) enrolled about 15 high school students in Lifesaving training from 2012 as a result of the rising number of inci­dents of children drowning while swimming in rivers and unprotected ponds and dams.

The students were awarded Life­saving certificates and medals by His Majesty King Letsie III on Fri­day.

RLLA president Colin Mcdonald said the training was introduced be­cause they believed that too many children drown in village dams be­cause swimming is not part of Leso­tho’s culture and tradition.

He said drowning was among the key causes of death for minors not only in the country but in the region as a whole.

“Drowning is believed to be the fourth largest cause of premature death after Aids, malaria and road accidents in Africa,” Macdonald said.

The association operates in the districts of Leribe, Berea, Maseru, Quthing and Mohale’s Hoek and the graduating students were from Abia High School, Moshoeshoe II High School, Honorat Labrecque, St Ag­nes High, Masitise and Moyeni High school.

Macdonald said while it might be true that most people have the com­passion to want to save their drown­ing friends and relatives, most of the time they dumbfounded by the drowning accidents when they hap­pen because they are powerless.

He therefore urged more young people to acquire skills in order to be best placed to help in times of need.

The skills provided by RLLA, Mac­donald said, sharpen a person for the future.
Meanwhile on behalf of the do­nors, Maseru Toyota Managing Di­rector, Elijah Ledimo, said it was sad that most Basotho youth are reluctant to participate in international swim­ming competitions “while there are avenues such as this one to improve their skills”.

“Let’s help these kids become better people and ensure that resources are availed by building swimming pools in all the ten districts of Lesotho in order to see the growth of water sports in this country,” Ledimo said.

On behalf of the graduates, Motlatsi Motebang thanked the donors and or­ganisers of the programme because “we in a position to rescue anyone we en­counter who may be drowning”.
The RLLA was founded in 2004. In 2011 it was affiliated to the Common­wealth and permitted to issue its own awards.

Since 2011 the association has issued 245 certificates from basic to intermedi­ate lifesaving skills.
The event was graced by the King and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Malebitso Ralebitso who attended on behalf of Sports Minister Thesele ‘Ma­seribane.

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