By Sma Phethoka

Three hundred and fifty beneficiaries from Ha Ramabanta and Semonkong in the Maseru distric received their final food distribution in August.

The food distribution took two months from July to August while the cash transfer was done in July this year for the Thaba Tseka beneficiaries.

According to the Ms. Tsietso Kuape Lesotho Red Cross Society Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation  and Reporting Assistant  food items were donated by Zenzele Itereleng with the aim of assisting people affected by COVDI19 in the rural areas of Maseru, namely; Semonkong and Ha Ramabanta and cash transfers were done in the Thaba Tseka District  at Mashai  constituency.

Kuape indicated that Zenezele Itereleng donated approximately M450,000 to Lesotho Red Cross Society.

During the implementation of the project, it was discovered that there were other vulnerable households that were left out by mistake during targeting exercise.

Kuape indicted that the targeting was primary done by the village chiefs as well as councilors with the aim of avoiding congestion in one area as prohibited by the COVID19 Rules and Regulations. “Another reason was to ensure that all vulnerable people are captured and assisted”, she added.

The Secretary General of Lesotho Red Cross Society outlined briefly the aim of the two months project saying the project was meant to give each household M450.00 per month so that they can buy food items that will sustain them through the difficult COVID 19 times.

One of beneficiaries demonstrated that LRCS had remembered them among many people and that they were really thankful to what the Society had done for them. He added that most people were affected by COVID 19, and that he felt privileged to have been among the people who received food parcels at the event.

The launch of the project was done in July in the presence of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Officer, Honourable Kemiso Mosenene who said the tremendous work being done by Lesotho Red Cross Society in assisting the most vulnerable communities is well known and very visible. He was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Water Hon Lepota Sekola and the Principal Secretary for economic affairs. The Principal Chief of Makhaleng and Ribaneng was also present at the launch.

He added that the Government will do its best to support the Society financially so that it continues and expand its work in the country.

“We urge the Red Cross Society to buy these food items from local business owners in the villages so that they can recover from the aftereffects of the lockdown as a result of COVID 19,” Honourable Minister said.

He added that this would help in eradicating poverty that was triggered by drought and now lockdown. This would also boost local businesses economy.

According to Mrs. Matlhaloso Sekhonyana of Zenzele Itereleng, ex-miners organisation was established by Anglo America having realized the need to assist Ex Mine workers in Lesotho, South Africa as well as Mozambique. “Zenzele Itereleng has supported the Lesotho Red Cross Society due to the negative impact brought by COVID 19 to the vulnerable.

According to Maine Makula the Society’s Disaster Management Officer most of the beneficiaries are youth who were either sexually molested and have had babies at a very tender age or were trafficked to South Africa or come from abusive families.