Support Chinese businesses: Mapesela
TRADE minister Tefo Mapesela has called on Basotho to support the Chinese business community as the latter often go beyond business to assist locals through various initiatives.
Mr Mapesela also commended the Chinese community for responding to the water crisis in 12 primary schools in his Mokhotlong constituency by donating 5000 litre water tanks to each of the schools.
The China-Lesotho People-to-People Friendship Action Fund did not only donate tanks but school bags for 3000 learners as well as 36 balls to enable the pupils to participate in football, basketball and volleyball.
The goods were donated at a recent ceremony at Mokhotlong Pitso Ground which was also attended by the Chinese business community, the deputy Minister of Education, Maphoka Motoboli and other government officials; the Principal Chief of Mokhotlong, Mathealira Seeiso and the Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Mr Mapesela expressed gratitude for the donation and urged the public community to maintain good relations with the Chinese businesspeople who invested in their communities.
“Most of the pupils are from vulnerable families and only get adequate meals at school, meaning they can go hungry if there is no water,” Mr Mapesela said, adding that the tanks would go a long way in addressing the water shortages.
“China has become our brother so let us support the Chinese business community. Not so long ago I received tonnes of rice from China which was meant for the destitute.”
The district education manager of Mokhotlong, Lillian Malefe, said students had to travel long distances to fetch water from wells and rivers for use at the schools. She said the donation had come in handy as classes had to be suspended when there was no water.
“Our district is rich in minerals but drought remains one of our greatest problems which has caused the students to travel long distances to fetch unsafe water from wells and rivers”
For his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Lesotho, Sun Xianghua, said that although Mokhotlong was far from Maseru, its problems would never go unnoticed by the Action Fund.
“Mokhotlong faces some daunting social and economic challenges due to its altitude and topography. For this reason, I am glad that the Action Fund has always taken this district into consideration when organising assistance campaigns in Lesotho.
“For the past two years, the fund has provided food relief to more than 200 poor families and supported 50 students in five schools with bursaries. The Chinese government and the Chinese community in Lesotho will continue to support the communities in Mokhotlong,” Dr Xianghua said.