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New project to promote cleaner energy sources

Caswell Tlali

MASERU — Lesotho’s new US$15 billion power generating project will encourage the use of cleaner sources of energy, Natural Resources Minister Monyane Moleleki has said.

Moleleki was speaking at a ceremony to award certificates to local firms that took part in the Earth Hour campaign on March 26.

The campaign saw local companies and individuals switching off lights for 60 minutes in an effort to raise awareness on climate change.

Moleleki said the new power generating project will not emit carbon dioxide which is hazardous to health.

He said Lesotho was determined to contribute meaningfully to the fight against air pollution which is seen as the biggest cause of climate change.

“Despite being small in size, we are proud of our planet and we do not want to render it inhabitable by engaging in projects that will accelerate climate change.”

Moleleki said the world is facing a heating crisis caused mainly by emission of carbon dioxide from petroleum products.

He said Lesotho was moving fast to avoid such pitfalls.

Moleleki, together with the European Union head of delegation in Lesotho, Hans Duynhouwer, awarded certificates to 18 companies and government departments that took part in the Earth Hour event.

The Earth Hour event was organised by a local printing and marketing company, Khaya Holdings (Pty) Ltd.

Moleleki told the Sunday Express last month that the electricity generating projects would be run under the newly formed Lesotho Power Generation Authority (LPGA).

The LPGA will focus on establishing major power generation projects including the ’Muela Hydropower Project.

It will also build a solar power generation station in Ha-Lumisi in the Likhoele constituency where it will produce power equivalent to 10 megawatts to add on to ’Muela’s 72 megawatts electricity.

The LPGA will also authorise the generation of power by wind.

Its first wind electricity plant will be near the Lets’eng Diamond Mine in Mokhotlong.

The Authority is also expected to establish windmills for power generation in 17 places in Lesotho’s mountainous areas.

The Khaya Holdings founder and managing director, Tumahole Lechesa, said he decided to introduce the Earth Hour to Lesotho after interactions with activists from various countries two years ago.

“The facts about the carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles were presented to me and later when I founded Khaya Holdings we decided to spearhead the awareness campaign,” he said.

Moleleki said although Lesotho is placed way above sea level the after-effects of climate change could be devastating.

Harvest FM owner ’Malichaba Lekhoaba told the Sunday Express in an interview that she felt it was her responsibility to make the public aware of the consequences of climate change.

“The excessive rains we had during summer show us that something is wrong and it is only logical to conclude that it is the result of climate change,” she said.

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