We suffered, school children suffered, businesses suffered, the economy suffered and our rights to freedom were denied and violated. We accepted it as it was for a good cause and surrendered them as a sacrifice with the hope that we paid a heavy price for us to return to our normal lives one day.
Concerning our Lesotho, we knew that we did not have enough or up to standard health facilities; we knew that even without the COVID-19 pandemic, we are a least developed country that depends on donations of food, clothing, medical and infrastructure from international communities.
We knew we did not have the capacity and we would not have it anytime soon. Our only weapon, therefore – Prevention is Better than Cure. Lesotho government authorities might not have the capacity to cure or immunise the people against the COVID-19 but they have a capacity of prevention measures as a government.
It wasn’t a bad idea to steadily open the economy but the mistake was to remove monitoring of people’s behaviour to ensure that they remain compliant with the WHO COVID-19 protocols and get them enforced – what a terrible mistake!
Had we acted responsibly, we would not have to revert to a danger zone and lockdown our economy again. We are now punished, not for our mistake but the mistake of our authorities. You cannot expect people to monitor and enforce regulations themselves, which is why we have a government with tools such as the police. Let us hope once bitten, twice shy will prevail.
In the meantime, we applaud our government for prioritising agriculture as the backbone of our economy and through which Basotho can be self-sufficient, have food security and move to the next stage of commercial agriculture to improve their standards of living in general. This is just but one weapon against pandemics such as COVID-19 in future. Please keep on doing it.
While promoting agriculture, also study all other sectors of the economy where the country does not have to depend on the outside world and boost them to give them the capacity to produce or provide services that are locally required. Convince yourself as the government that anything that is sourced from outside the country is because it is totally not available locally and it is so essential to the livelihood of the citizens.
After all, international sourcing should be either for an extreme necessity or a luxury product which moneyed people are willing to pay for anyway.