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Letšeng Mine intervenes as drought adversely impacts lives

The Letšeng Diamond Mine located in Mokhotlong

Nov. 25, 2020 2 min read

2 min read

THE 2019/20 season marks the third consecutive year of inadequate crop production due to severe drought conditions brought about by climate change, the Improving Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable and Food insecure Populations in Lesotho (IACOV) has said.

This, according to IACOV was preceded by an 80 per cent decline in all cereal crops in the 2018/19 season, with maize production dropping by 70 per cent, sorghum by 98 per cent and wheat by 75 per cent.

In a bid to help improve the food and nutrition security of the communities in Pae-la-itlhatsoa, Mokhotlong, the Letšeng Diamond Mine this week donated seeds and food parcels to 40 households living in nine villages in that area.

Handing over the donation, the Letšeng Mine’s Chief Operations Officer, Matooane Thinyane said when there are huge reductions in harvest; farming families consume less, resulting in less income, which in turn adversely affects food security and nutrition.

Mr Thinyane said in many rural settings, communities work on agricultural farms, often on a seasonal basis.

“Such employment opportunities dissolve if certain crops cannot be grown as a result of climate change,” he said.

The inclusion of seeds in the donation was aimed at encouraging the communities to engage in income generating activities.

“The donation of the seeds and food parcels is a departure from Letšeng Diamond’s normal policy approach, where the focus is on sustainable projects, with the capacity to generate income and benefit the entire community, instead of individuals, in order to join national efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Thinyane said.

That, he said was also a sign of their commitment to continue supporting and working with the Pae-la-itlhatsoa community on various community projects and activities like the water and sanitation project earmarked for the village of Ha Moroke in 2021.

The mine has continuous engagement with the communities through the area chiefs and the community counsellors on urgent issues that need immediate attention.

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There are quarterly public meetings held between the mine and communities living in the nine villages to among others discuss general issues, concerns, suggestions, proposals and complaints.

There is also a formal grievance management system, through which the communities lodge their complaints to the mine on any issue.

Lesotho is not immune from the negative effects of climate change.  As a result of the observed climatic trends of recurrent and prolonged droughts, agricultural productivity has steadily declined in recent years with adverse impact on food and nutrition security, and overall economic performance in Lesotho.


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