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Let’s prove our detractors wrong

A standing joke among Basotho is we have become so much used to hand-outs from the donor community we can hardly do anything for ourselves anymore.

In-fact, some detractors have gone to the extent of suggesting our “development partners” are the true masters of our destiny due to their financial stranglehold of this country.

This, the critics further say, only leaves our leaders with political authority which is really meaningless since money is power — not the root of all evil as those who have it would want the poor to believe.

What evokes such sad sentiments is a story elsewhere in this issue, which highlights a potential health hazard at a certain government-owned ultramodern clinic in one of the planned settlements of Maseru.

The looming danger, which the authorities have since acknowledged, is the result of a breakdown of the clinic’s plumbing system almost five months ago.

The system, as reported in our story, went bust just two months after the impressive clinic had been handed over by donors who had funded its construction — in collaboration with government, of-course.

But since the system broke down in November last year, the clinic has been without running water — an embarrassing state of affairs considering the situation could have been rectified by now had it been given the priority it clearly deserves.

Communities going without running water for days on end is now too commonplace in Lesotho, it has since become normal despite the fact that water is this country’s most prized public asset, earning the country millions of maloti in revenue.

It has also since been accepted Lesotho’s healthcare is not in the best of shape as well, and more so in the hard-to-reach districts, due to the challenges associated with ensuring the necessary equipment is timeously delivered and also persuading nurses and doctors to take up positions in those remote areas of our country.

But one hardly expects to hear that a modern facility such as the Lesotho Defence Force Health Centre (LDFHC), which is located in one of the most affluent areas of Maseru, Lower Thetsane to be exact, has become but a poorly-ventilated and maintained pit-latrine, all because of lack of running water.

The LDFHC proudly proclaims on a plaque pasted on one of its buildings that it was “funded by the American people”, and there is certainly nothing wrong at all in us being the beneficiaries of such kindness.

But after the breakdown of the system that brings water into such an important facility that is immensely benefitting many needy residents, the least government could have done, as the “implementing authority”, was ensure the system is fixed as a matter of urgency.

An official who spoke to our reporter, as quoted in our story, suggests this is a complicated system which requires special expertise, hence almost half a year has passed without the problem being rectified.

Yet such an admission is not only unfortunate but also a truly sad development that lends weight to suggestions — even though they are mostly made in jest and ridicule — that unless a donor offers this country a helping hand, nothing moves in Lesotho.

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