Spotlight on coal mining
. . . as prospecting begins in Mohale’s Hoek and Matebang
BUTHA-BUTHE – NATIONAL University of Lesotho (NUL) Academic Planning Director, Molisana Molisana says learners from 13 schools from different districts around the country should engage legislators on dangers of mining coal in the country.
This follows last week’s decision by the Ministry of Mining to hand over memorandums of agreement (MOUs) to Masemanzi Mining to prospect for coal in Qhalasi, Mohale’s Hoek and Matebang with a view to determine whether there were significant deposits for viable commercial exploitation.
However, Dr Molisana said the coal mining would compromise efforts being made to mitigate the deleterious effects of climate change.
He made the remarks while delivering a lecture to learners at Soofia English Medium School in Butha-Buthe during a Science Festival on Friday.
He said that mining coal was not a good idea as it was one of the most dangerous sources of energy contributing massively to global warming – a gradual heating of earth’s surface, oceans and atmosphere.
Scientists have documented that the earth’s average temperature had risen by 1.4 degrees over the past century.
“Speak out against global warming,” Dr Molisana said, adding, “This is your future we are talking about”.
“You need to start speaking out on the future you want. Talk to your political representatives and tell them that Lesotho should be focusing on gas not coal exploitation.
“Gas is a cleaner source of energy and has less harmful effects on global warming.”
He said Lesotho should be moving towards adapting policies on cleaner sources of energy instead of coal which contributed to greenhouse gases emissions.
Held under the theme “The future of our mother earth”, the festival attracted learners from 13 schools across the country who were tasked to come up with scientific projects aimed at addressing the changing climatic conditions and their effects on earth.
National University of Lesotho International School (NULIS) duo, Teboho Lenyeta and Matlali Seutloali walked away with cash prizes from Soofia English Medium and Standard Lesotho Bank, a tablet, certificates and a trophy.
Moshee Mokatja and Tšeliso Tuke of Soofia English Medium School settled for the second position while the Leribe English Medium School duo of Karabo Phenya and Kabelo Tenane came third.
The learners were further tasked to make presentation on the subject “Is science a blessing or curse to humanity?” while others took part in quiz competitions.
Dr Molisana called on the learners to start sensitising their respective communities to stop burning grass and tyres during the winter season and Christmas festive respectively.
“The first thing that you must do to address issues of climate change is to be informed by reading. You further need to network locally and globally to ensure that you know a lot about climate change and global warming,” he said.
For his part, Soofia English Medium School Principal Vijayakumar Bhaskaran said the event was organised to create a platform for learners to come up with scientific solutions for the present and future generations.
“Although global warming is not my area of expertise, it is an open secret that we continue to experience its effects ranging from changing sea levels, hurricanes, droughts and other ecosystems,” Mr Bhaskaran said.
He said that although the school was owned by the Muslim community, they enrolled learners from different cultural and religious backgrounds to promote cultural diversity and corporation.