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Metolong to meet stakeholders

Mamohlakola Letuka

The Metolong Authority is set to hold its fifth annual expo at the Lesotho Sun Hotel this week.

The purpose of the exhibition, scheduled for April 1-3, is to update stakeholders about progress the authority has made on the Metolong Dam and Water Supply Programme (MDWSP).

The MDWSP, launched in October 14 2011, largely comprises the construction of Metolong Dam and associated infrastructure to supply water to Maseru and the neighbouring towns of Teyateyaneng, Roma, Mazenod and Morija.

In addition, the initiative will also improve the reliability of water supply via existing reticulation to industries located in the country’s lowlands region.

The Metolong Dam is being built on the Phuthiatsana River adjacent to the villages of Ha Seeiso and Ha Makotoko, about 35 kilometres from Maseru.

In addition to the European Investment Bank, the MDWSP is co-funded by the governments of Lesotho and South Africa, World Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, Saudi Fund for Development, OPEC Fund for International Development, Arab Fund for Economic Development in Africa and Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

Speaking about the upcoming expo, the Metolong Authority chief executive officer, Keith Reynolds, said: “The purpose of the expo is to inform all stakeholders of the progress made to date on the Metolong Programme and to highlight the strategies and challenges going forward.

“Invitees have been drawn from a wide range of stakeholders such as funders, members of parliament, government officials, community representatives, non-governmental organisations, contractors and consultants.”

Reynolds recapped the origins of the MDWSP, which is expected to be fully completed by 2015 at a cost of US$430 million (about M4.3 billion).
“This is an initiative by the Lesotho government, aimed at improving access to safe water for domestic and industrial use in Maseru and the surrounding towns of Roma, Mazenod, Morija and Teyateyaneng,” Reynolds said.
“Tertiary pipelines, Water and Sanitation and rural electrification are expected to be implemented in around 70 villages at a later stage.”

Reynolds also said the expo would be officially opened by the Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, Tšeliso Mokhosi.
“The minister will give the keynote address, and presentations on the major components of the programme such as advance infrastructure, water treatment works, dam, downstream conveyance system, the environment and social management, will follow soon after,” Reynolds said.

On the second day of the expo, delegates will tour the Metolong Programme sites and “experience first-hand progress made,” Reynolds added.

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