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Metropolitan comes to villagers’ aid


Rethabile Pitso

THE Lihlokong community in Mafeteng can finally access safe drinking water following the hand over, by Metropolitan Lesotho on Wednesday, of a borehole to replace the one damaged during a storm in February this year.

Eighty families were left stranded and without roofs over their heads when a storm swept through the area in February, damaging homesteads and injuring both people and animals. The storm also destroyed power lines, water pipes and the communal borehole, leaving the villagers without electricity, water and functional lavatories.

In response to the humanitarian crisis, Metropolitan Lesotho donated 160 blankets to the villagers in June, at a cost of M40 000, and also promised to replace the destroyed borehole.

Addressing the villagers during the hand-over ceremony, Metropolitan Lesotho Regional Manager, Sebolai Constantinus Serame, said the M50 000 they spent in buying a pump and reinstalling the borehole was higher than originally thought.

“The initial assessment of the cost had shown that M30 000 would be needed to get the borehole up and running. However, the final cost spiked to around M50 000 after completing the project,” said Mr Serame.

He urged the villagers to take care of the borehole to ensure it remained functional for a long time.

“The responsibility to take care of the pump is now in your hands, and I urge you to use the water sparingly to ensure that everyone can access it,” Mr Serame said.

In her remarks, Lihlokong Chief, ‘Maphoka Matete, commended the financial services provider for delivering on its promise to repair the borehole.

“We are indeed grateful to Metropolitan Lesotho because the villagers will once again be able to access water from a safe source,” Chief Matete said.

“This kind gesture will help protect us from waterborne diseases since it was difficult to find clean drinking water for some time.”

She said the only drawback was that the borehole pump was yet to operate to its full capacity owing to low water levels.

“Because no rain has fallen for a long time, the reservoir has not been able to accumulate a lot of water.

“However, we have since been assured by officials from the Department of Rural Water Supply that water flow would normalise when the rains come,” said Chief Matete.

She implored other well-wishers to follow through on their pledges to rebuild the village.

“There were a lot of promises that were made to us since the storm struck and the villagers are frustrated by the inordinate delay in the reconstruction of their homesteads,” the chief noted.

She said only four houses had been built so far, with a single house having been roofed.

“The houses were built by two gentlemen by the names of Ntate Leuta and Ntate Monaheng from Mafeteng. We are still waiting for government to deliver on its promise to build the dwellings and there is a long waiting list.”

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