US comes to Le­sotho’s aid

Lesotho Times - - News - Staff Writer

THE United States has com­mit­ted $50 000 (around M768 000) to­wards im­provim­prov ing ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter and pro­vid­ing hygiene education in Mafeteng and Mo­hale’s Hoek, which are hard­esthard­est hit by the pre­vail­ing El Niño-in­duced drought. Ac­cord­ing to a press state­ment re re­leased by the US Em­bassy in Le­sotho this week, the dona do­na­tion was in re­sponse to a state of e mer­gency de­clared by Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili on 22 De­cem­ber 2015 to co­or­di­nate drought mit­iga mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts and re­quest in­ter in­ter- na­tional sup­port.

Le­sotho is in the throes of its worst drought in four decades as a re­sult of El Niño, which is a pe­ri­odic cli­matic phe­nom­e­non char­ac­terised by in­ad­e­quate rain in some parts of the world and floods in oth­ers.

Un­der El Niño, parts of South Amer­ica ex­pe­ri­ence heavy rain­fall, while dry con­di­tions pre­vail in Aus­tralia, south-east Asia and south­ern Africa. In Le­sotho, El Niño’s com­bi­na­tion of very hot and dry con­di­tions be­tween De­cem­ber 2015 and Jan­uary 2016 dras­ti­cally re­duced agri­cul­tural yields and left thou­sands food in­se­cure.

“Th­ese funds are pro­vided in friend­ship by the Amer­i­can peo­ple and will be ad­min­is­tered by World Vi­sion Le­sotho,” reads the US Em­bassy in Le­sotho state­ment.

“Among the projects funded will be the pur­chase of six­teen, 5 000-litre tanks to pro­vide im­proved wa­ter stor­age ca­pac­ity at key sites, the ac­qui­si­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion of wa­ter treat­ment sup­plies, the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of 10 hand pumps at bore­holes, and hygiene and san­i­ta­tion train­ing for af­fected res­i­dents.”

The em­bassy also notes that the de­layed and in­suf­fi­cient rains had af­fected wa­ter sup­plies and food pro­duc­tion in the two dis­tricts.

“As a re­sult of the drought, com­mu­nity wa­ter points and bore­holes have failed to meet de­mand, lead­ing many Ba­sotho to re­sort to us­ing un­pro­tected wa­ter sources. In some parts of the coun­try, wa­ter short­ages have re­sulted in ra­tioning and tight wa­ter re­stric­tions,” it states.

“While re­cent rains have of­fered some re­lief in parts of the coun­try, the worst af­fected ar­eas in Mafeteng and Mo­hale’s Hoek con­tinue to suf­fer se­vere wa­ter short­ages. In re­sponse to the ex­treme need in th­ese two dis­tricts, the United States govern­ment is pro­vid­ing this im­me­di­ate sup­port to en­sure ac­cess to safe drink­ing wa­ter for Ba­sotho liv­ing in those af­fected ar­eas as well as train­ing on best prac­tices re­lated to hygiene and san­i­ta­tion.”

Prime min­is­ter Pakalitha mo­sisili.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.