En­ergy ministry hon­ours women

Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Pas­cali­nah Kabi

EN­ERGY and Me­te­o­rol­ogy Min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane yes­ter­day hon­oured women and fe­male-run or­gan­i­sa­tions mak­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact in the en­ergy and cli­mate change adap­ta­tion sec­tors.

Ad­dress­ing guests dur­ing the Women Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Awards held at a lo­cal ho­tel, Mr Mo­choboroane said his ministry de­cided to hold the event af­ter realising the gov­ern­ment couldn’t achieve its man­date with­out women’s sup­port.

He said the event was held at the end of Au­gust to cap the African Women’s Month com­mem­o­ra­tions with a bang and en­sure ef­forts made by women in the en­ergy and cli­mate change sec­tors were recog­nised.

“The ministry’s se­nior man­age­ment de­cided it was proper to cel­e­brate the African Women’s Month in the con­text of cel­e­brat­ing and hon­our­ing women mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the en­ergy and cli­mate change sec­tors,” Mr Mo­choboroane said.

He said al­though the African Women’s Month con­cept was orig­i­nated by South African women, it was only proper to hon­our and ap­pre­ci­ate strides be­ing made by Ba­sotho women.

“To­day we have our very own Ba­sotho women he­roes. We have seen how strong and ded­i­cated they are. If you look into the 1996 drought sit­u­a­tion and the re­cent one, you will re­alise that women are the most af­fected by th­ese dis­as­ters,” he said.

The min­is­ter said the El Nino-in­duced drought left women vul­ner­a­ble in all sec­tors as they were forced to pro­tect their chil­dren from se­vere heat burn whose ef­fects in­clude skin can­cer and di­ar­rhoea.

He said women were forced to walk long dis­tances to col­lect wild veg­eta­bles (bo­batsi) to en­sure their chil­dren and hus­bands had some­thing to eat, adding women also queued for wa­ter due to its scarcity.

Mr Mo­choboroane fur­ther said the re­cent heavy snow­fall also af­fected women the most.

“It is there­fore proper to hon­our you on this last day of the African Women’s Month. We hon­our you be­cause we need your help to de­velop our own coun­try.

“We need to reach a po­si­tion where weather con­di­tions like snow­fall shouldn’t be a dis­as­ter but rather a tourism at­trac­tion and op­por­tu­nity to use the mois­ture for farm­ing,” he said.

Echo­ing the sen­ti­ment, Na­tional Uni­ver­sity of Le­sotho lec­turer, Dr Pu­leng Matebesi said: “Is­sues of en­ergy and cli­mate change are mostly women’s is­sues.

When you talk of en­ergy, it is women who travel long hours to col­lect cow dung and fire­wood for house­hold pur­poses.”

Dr Matebesi urged the gov­ern­ment to in­clude women in draw­ing up poli­cies meant to ad­dress chal­lenges in the en­ergy sec­tor.

“Ev­ery com­mu­nity has its own needs. Life­style and gov­ern­ment poli­cies in the en­ergy and cli­mate change sec­tors should cater for such needs,” she said.

“It doesn’t mat­ter where we are liv­ing. Ba­sotho women need to ac­cess clean, safe and sus­tain­able en­ergy.

“Mod­ern de­vel­op­ment tech­nolo­gies must be used to help women lead a nor­mal life­style in the face of cli­mate change and that can only be achieved if we in­clude them in de­ci­sion mak­ing pro­cesses.”

She said gov­ern­ment must work harder to en­sure that en­ergy was read­ily ac­ces­si­ble and avail­able to women, adding it was not enough to elec­trify vil­lages with­out equip­ping women with the means to buy the elec- tricity.

Women Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Awards win­ners: Tech­nolo­gies for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor ‘Man­topi Le­bofa, ‘Ma­male­fet­sane Phakoe, So­lar Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Group, ‘Mam­pho Thulo, Kopanang ka Lerato Basali ba Pat­long, Lekokoa­neng Clean En­ergy, Ma­jan­tja Te­mong, ‘Ma­tokelo Pak­iso, Thaba-put­soa De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion, ‘Makholu Mopalo, Baroana Rock Art Cen­tre, The Bana Project, Good Shep­ard Cen­tre for Teenage Moth­ers, ‘Ma­mamello Rakolobe, Pas­calina Let­sau, Iket­set­seng Bacha, Dr Pu­leng Matebesi-ranthimo, Liketso Seeiso, Se­ba­batso Mohlobola, ‘Mabafo­keng Ma­ha­habisa, Mon­ica Moeko, Nt­soaki Se­goete and Dr ‘Mamoeketsi Ntho.

EN­ERGY and Me­te­o­rol­ogy Min­is­ter Se­libe Mo­choboroane (right) hands over an award to a Kopanang ka Lerato Basali ba Pat­long rep­re­sen­ta­tive yes­ter­day.

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