Chinese firm rescues villagers
A CHINESE company, Lesotho Stone Enterprise has come to the rescue of drought-hit Ha Ralisieng villagers in the Lekokoaneng area of the Berea district by drilling and donating a borehole valued at M150 000.
The company further donated M20 000 to fix another borehole in the area.
Company director, David Zhai said during the recent handover ceremony that they considered themselves a part of the community hence the decision to alleviate the water crisis.
“We all know the importance of water to human life as well as of animals,” Mr Zhai said, adding, “We executed this project in order to eliminate the water crisis as part of the social responsibility of our company which is part of this community”.
“We are also willing to maintain the borehole so that people will always have access to clean water,” he said.
The handover ceremony was attended by Ministers Kimetso Mathaba (Water) and Lebohang Thotanyane (Mining), Chinese Ambassador Sun Xianghua, Water Ministry Principal Secretary Khomatsana Tau, Principal Chief of Berea Sempe Majara, District Administrator Motsamai Mokoto, the constituency’s Member of Parliament Africa Makakane, Commissioner of Police SSP Motlatsi Mapola and the Chinese business community among others.
Lesotho Stone Enterprise started operating in Lekokoaneng in 2003 and now employs more than 300 staff from the community. It is one of the top suppliers of sandstone to local and South African markets.
For his part, Ambassador Xianghua said that the borehole donation was yet another significant monument to strengthen Sino-basotho ties.
“The friendship between the Chinese people and Basotho is like water and air meaning we cannot live without one another.
“There is a Chinese saying which states that ‘if you drink water from a well you will not forget who dug it’. The borehole is a sign of the commitment of the Chinese business community to Basotho and it proves that we care about the wellbeing of Basotho,” he said.
Honourable Mathaba thanked the company for assisting the ministry resolve the water crisis, saying, “due to climate change there has been a very high scarcity of water as the El Nino drought caused many water sources to dry up”.
“This borehole has not only helped the ministry and the community of Lekokoaneng to access clean water, but it also proves the commitment of Chinese people to helping us as they also benefit from our resources.
“The water ministry is currently involved in a big project with this company of provid- ing water across the area and we are also in a process of transferring water from Metolong Dam so that you can have running water in your houses,” Honourable Mathaba said.
Minister Thotanyane echoed Honourable Mathaba’s sentiments and urged other quar- rying companies to emulate Lesotho Stone Enterprise in helping the communities in their areas of operation.
The community members ululated and danced to show their appreciation of the company’s gesture.
Chinese ambassador to Lesotho Dr sun Xianghua cuts the ribbon alongside Ministers Lebohang Thotanyane (Mining) and Kimetso Mathaba (Water).
Chinese ambassador to Lesotho Dr sun Xianghua, Ministers Lebohang Thotanyane (Mining), Kimetso Mathaba (Water) and Lesotho stone enterprise director David Zhai (far right) test the boreholes.