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Storm leaves trail of destruction


Billy Ntaote

LAST Wednesday’s ferocious storm left hundreds of people homeless, according to Disaster Management Authority (DMA) Chief Executive Officer Haretsebe Mahosi.

Mr Mahosi said the worst affected area was Berea where the blustery weather destroyed schools, police and government offices as well as 210 homes.

According to Mr Mahosi, five people were injured during the storm, but they were no fatalities.

“Some of the people who sustained injuries were admitted at Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital and we have received reports that they are doing well,” he said.

Mr Mohasi further told the Sunday Express that the storm also affected villages in Mafeteng, Maseru, Leribe, Butha-Buthe and Mokhotlong districts.

“As of now, we know that Berea district is the worst-hit district since the storm even blew away the roof of the Ministry of Agriculture’s office in Teyateyaneng and the district administrator’s offices,” Mr Makhosi said, adding the blizzard also uprooted trees and downed power-lines.

“Mapoteng Police Station was destroyed, while a boarding school in Berea was also left in ruins.”

He said the storm could not have come at a worse time since the DMA was yet to help families whose homes were destroyed by yet another storm in February this year.

“We only have a budget of M2 million for Operation Roofing Lesotho, and we were hoping once our new bank account is in place, we would be going all out to seek funding from donors and well-wishers.”

The storm, he further noted, had increased the already heavy burden on their shoulders.

“We have a huge backlog of houses that need to be rebuilt or re-roofed after being destroyed in previous years by natural disasters,” Mr Mahosi said.

“We can only manage to assist the worst affected people who do not have the means to re-build on their own. We are extremely underfunded, and with the recurrence of these disasters, we urgently need the assistance of donors and well-wishers.

“That is the only way we can respond speedily to the needs of the affected people. However, due to lengthy government procedures, it is taking us a long time to set up a bank account to receive financial support for the work we need to do.”



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