‘Work cut out for new WASCO boss’

Lesotho Times - - News - Bereng Mpaki

NEW Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Com­pany (WASCO) Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer (CEO) Lehlo­honolo Manamolela has a ma­jor task on his hands to pro­vide af­ford­able safe drink­ing wa­ter and ad­dress san­i­ta­tion chal­lenges fac­ing con­sumers.

This is the view of civil so­ci­ety or­gan­i­sa­tion, De­vel­op­ment for Peace Ed­u­ca­tion (DPE), fol­low­ing Mr Manamolela’s ap­point­ment on Mon­day to suc­ceed Mathealira Lerotholi whose three-year con­tract ex­pired ear­lier this year.

Ac­cord­ing to a WASCO press state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, Mr Manamolela would be charged with spear­head­ing the take over con­trol of the Me­to­long Dam and Wa­ter Sup­ply Pro­gramme that is meant to pro­vide wa­ter for Maseru and the sur­round­ing towns.

This is in ad­di­tion to en­sur­ing WASCO ful­fils its man­date to pro­vide potable wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion ser­vices to cus­tomers in ur­ban and other des­ig­nated ar­eas.

“The ap­point­ment comes at a time when WASCO is work­ing hard to com­ply with the reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments to im­prove cus­tomer ser­vice, qual­ity of wa­ter and re­li­a­bil­ity of sup­ply,” reads part of the state­ment.

“It also hap­pens at an op­por­tune time as it (WASCO) con­tin­ues to in­ten­sify prepa­ra­tions to take over full con­trol of the Me­to­long wa­ter sup­ply to the ben­e­fit­ing towns of Maseru, Mazenod, Roma, Morija and Tey­ateya­neng; a de­vel­op­ment which is a huge chal­lenge for the com­pany as it has never man­aged in­fra­struc­ture of this na­ture in terms of size and com­plex­ity of com­po­nents as well as the vast dis­tance the net­work cov­ers.”

The state­ment said Mr Manamolela would draw from his ex­pe­ri­ence in the “pub­lic sec­tor, min­ing, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and re­cently, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor where he worked as the Deputy Rec­tor at the Le­sotho Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion”.

Ac­cord­ing to DPE’S Ed­u­ca­tion Re­searcher Le­mo­hang Moli­beli, WASCO needed to im­prove the qual­ity of the potable wa­ter it pro­vides to live up to its man­date.

“There is no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for rais­ing the cost of wa­ter if you con­sider the level of qual­ity WASCO pro­vides. In any case, Le­sotho is en­dowed with abun­dant wa­ter sources and, there­fore, it should not be ex­pen­sive to col­lect

and sup­ply the com­mod­ity,” Mr Moli­beli said.

He said the new CEO would need to ad­dress the prob­lem of burst sewer pipes around Maseru, which were not only a nui­sance but a health risk.

“Our ur­ban cen­tres have be­come squalid due to the ubiq­ui­tous burst sewer pipes, and the re­sponse times are very long. These are some of the chal­lenges the new CEO faces,” said Mr Moli­beli.

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