LERIBE — For the past few years over 3 000 students in Leribe have been forced to end their fourth terms earlier than normal because of water shortages.
Schools in Lesotho close the fourth term at the end of November but due to serious water shortages in Leribe some schools close much earlier.
In most cases they close at the beginning of November just when the water crisis is about to get worse.
But thanks to help from some good Samaritans who donated boreholes these schools can now have a reliable supply of water throughout the year.
Six schools, Bokoro High School, Leribe High School, ’Masenate High School, Hleoheng High School, Morate High School and St. Savious Primary School were on Friday handed a borehole tap each by Rand Water Foundation and Rotary Club in Ficksburg. The boreholes are worth M850 000.
“You can just imagine what the situation is like when the school toilets don’t flush,” ’Masenate High School’s principal, Liteboho Masoebe said.
“The water we got from the WASCO was not reliable and we shared it with St. Saviour Primary School and it was never enough,” he said.
“Things worsened after WASCO cut the supply.”
Anna Mashinini, supervisor of government schools, said the boreholes had come at an appropriate time when the students were desperate for water.
General Manager of Rand Water Foundation, Mohlatleho Sekoaila, said when they came to Lesotho in April after receiving a proposal from Rotary Club, the plight of the schools was very touching.
“It felt like a dream when we assessed the situation,” Sekoaila said.
She said Rand Water Foundation undertakes social corporate responsibility programmes in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
“It is the responsibility of our company to restore hope to the lives of the needy,” she added.
Duncan Peacock from Rotary Club in Ficksburg said after the completion of their first borehole at Qoqolosing primary school in 2009, they recognised the need for more boreholes as there was a big shortage of water in many schools in Lesotho.
Peacock said they however realised that they did not have enough funds to finance the project of that magnitude.
Five schools were then identified and the first stages of the project began with sponsorship from the Rand Water Foundation.
The deal was facilitated by Rotary Club Ficksburg.
St. Saviour’s primary school which was the sixth school to benefit from the project had excess piped water that it tapped to ’Masenate High School where over 200 pupils and teaching staff had no water.
“No scholar should ever be deprived of water and food as it is not easy to concentrate on their studies when they are hungry or thirsty.” Peacock said.