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Semonkong set for transformation



SemonkongRethabile Pitso

WATER and Sewerage Company (WASCO) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mathealira Lerotholi says a dam would soon be constructed in Semonkong, paving the way for further development in the area.

Mr Lerotholi made the remarks on Thursday in Semonkong during the inauguration of the second phase of the Semonkong Water Supply Project.

The venture was divided into two stages, with the first phase financed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation to the tune of M104, 684,769:00 and implemented by the Lesotho Millennium Development Agency.

During phase one, new water treatment works and a network were constructed among other facilities, to cope with increased demand due to population growth.

Mr Lerotholi said Phase II of the project, which would not be funded by the compact, would see the construction of a dam at the confluence of the Mphatšoenyane tributary and ‘Maletsunyane river, as well as a five-kilometre gravity pipeline in the event of limited flow in the main river.

According to Mr Lerotholi, WASCO had engaged various stakeholders to develop Semonkong into a modern town. The WASCO boss, who sounded upbeat about the initiative, added the first port of call would be the construction of a dam to supply water for domestic and industrial needs for the next 20 years.

“We have begun discussions with Semonkong Urban Council officials about transforming the town by mapping roads to enable easy installation of pipes and other infrastructure,” Mr Lerotholi said.

“We will also need communities to conform to WASCO’s standards such as setting up sewerage systems which is the best channel of managing water. We are not only a water company but of sewerage as well.”

WASCO, he further noted, had also engaged the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Lesotho Electricity Corporation, Lesotho National Development Corporation and the tourism sector to collaborate in face-lifting the town as well as setting up industries.

“We believe this plan could manifest through the construction of a dam that would have water from the Mphatšoenyane tributary and ‘Maletsunyane River,” said Mr Lerotholi.

“On its own, ‘Maletsunyane does not have enough water, but when it is collected, it can be more sustainable and available to supply firms we intend to woo with the developments.”

On her part, LMDA CEO, Sophia Mohapi, expressed satisfaction with the manner the money had been spent, which also included the construction of three staff houses and a WASCO office.

“We are happy to see these improvements and also appeal to the private sector to take advantage of the growing opportunities in Semonkong,” said Ms Mohapi.

“There is potential for economic growth and job-creation here and I urge those who have a keen interest for development to cast their eyes this way.”

In his remarks, Water Affairs Minister, Ralechate ‘Mokose, said government had undertaken to bring further developments to Semonkong this year, with the main focus being remote villages such as Ha Tsoinyane and Khilibithing.

“Through my ministry, this year alone, we are going to provide over 82 villages with water, including two from this village namely Ha Tsoinyane and Khilibithing,” Mr ‘Mokose said.

“We are also going to erect 9 000 pit-latrines in those villages and maintenance will also be provided for previously built equipment.”

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