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Oct. 5, 2021

STAFF REPORTER

3 min read

Majoro leads national Independence Day celebration

Majoro leads national Independence Day celebration

Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro

Story highlights

  • Climate change mitigation efforts help restore wetlands
  • Meals not provided to avoid crowds

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PRIME Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro has reminded Basotho about the severity of soil erosion in Lesotho, saying it is befitting that when the country commemorates 55 years of independence, they should engage in developmental activities such as tree planting and rehabilitation of dongas.

The Prime Minister who was flanked the Minister of Home Affairs, Motlalentoa Letsosa and the Minister of Forestry, Motlohi Maliehe was speaking at the official celebration of Lesotho’s 55th Independence Day held in Mahloenyeng, Matsieng on Monday.
As part of the commemoration, Dr Majoro joined scores of Basotho in planting willow trees as well as rehabilitating dongas in Molulaneng in the Mahloenyeng area.
“The effects of climate change are many including among others droughts floods, very high and cold temperatures, late rainfalls which affect farming and rising sea levels which could submerge other countries,” he said.
He was quick to note that donga rehabilitation and tree planting are some of the climate change mitigation efforts, adding that they also help restore wetlands as water is life.
''We see a huge difference here since the conservation project began in 2018 with the Head of State, His Majesty King Letsie III spearheading that day's activities,'' he said.
He therefore appealed to chiefs and local authorities to initiate developmental projects in their respective areas so that the government could assist them with expertise and relevant resources.
Speaking at the same occasion, Mr Letsosa said due to the rampant COVID-19 pandemic, his ministry approached the Ministry of Forestry and the two ministries resolved to commemorate this year's Independence Day by planting trees and rehabilitating dongas.

''We resolved to commemorate the 55th Independence Day in such a way that there will be no meals like we used to do in the past and no traditional performances of cultural activities like songs and dances as well as official speeches to avoid people flocking together,'' he explained.
By so doing, he said they will be leaving a land mark of developmental projects which will benefit future generations.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Mr Maliehe who said restoration of wetlands will revive rivers and sources of clean water.

He therefore appealed to herd boys to avoid letting their livestock graze in wetlands, adding that the planted trees will be beneficial to the community in the long run as they will provide firewood.

One of the local youth, Setae Meekest, 21, said soil erosion in the area causes havoc as fields are being washed away by floods or destroyed by dongas.

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He is confident that the initiative to plant trees and rehabilitate dongas will go a long way towards preventing the soil destruction.
“The rate of unemployment in Lesotho is extremely high, many qualified Basotho youth are now involved in illegal activities such as working in abandoned gold mines in South Africa, while many young women have turned to prostitution as a way of life,” Mr Moeketsi said.

He added: “But starting a business is also a major challenge as it requires capital.
Lesotho gained independence from England on October 4, 1966. LeNA

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