By Mamonehela Masupha – Volunteer October 2017

The Lesotho Red Cross Society LRCS hosted a high powered delegation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, headed by the President of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Mr. Tadateru Konoe  on September 27th and 28th, this year.

Mr. Konoe’s entourage included delegates from the Movement’s African and Southern regions in Nairobi Kenya, as well as Pretoria in South Africa.

Speaking at the breakfast meeting to launch LRCS / Private Sector Partnership initiative on Thursday, Mr Konoe indicated that the IFRC is committed to supporting humanitarian initiatives of all National Societies, including those of the LRCS.

He said Lesotho is among countries in the Southern African region which suffered recurring drought conditions recently. He therefore commended the LRCS for their visionary response of raising 90 percent of the funds needed to build resilience among Basotho people whose livelihoods were challenged by the 2016 drought.

He said the Cash Transfer programme helped bring about resilience to those communities, while the aid was also made possible as a result of contributions by the LRCS’s sister organisations, such as the British, Netherlands, Norway as well as Swedish Red Cross societies.

The IFRC’s Chief also welcomed the partnership between the LRCS and the Government of Lesotho, and pleaded with the latter to pledge more funds, while he also acknowledged that the partnership is also grounded under the strongest guidance of the Patrons of the National Society, their Majesties, King Letsie III  and Queen ‘Masenate Seeiso.

He also called upon the business community, to be cautious of their Corporate/Social responsibilities in relief operations, as lack of international funding should never impede required relief operations. ‘’This goes for individuals of good will too “, he added.

Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Mr Temeki Ts’olo indicated that as Government, they will always be grateful to the Lesotho Red Cross Society because “as Government, we normally depend on the Red Cross with its unique strategy of using volunteers for first response ‘’.

The Minister pledged more government support to the course of the LRCS, including that of his fellow parliamentarians, by way of saying thank you to the Society, as they are all aware of the role it plays in humanitarian work each time disaster strikes.

The President of the Lesotho Red Cross Society, Mr. Silas Mosuhli, said as the Society celebrates 50 years of its existence in Lesotho, it is committed to doubling its efforts in a strife to alleviate human suffering resultant from hunger and the scourge of HIV/ AIDS, among others.

Mr. Mosuhli invited all people including the indigenous business fraternity, to join hands with the LRCS, which is auxiliary to the government in providing humanitarian aid. “We are saying prepare yourselves to be inspired by LRCS. We invite all to celebrate with us for the benefit of the entire vulnerable people of Lesotho’.

The Breakfast Meeting, also attended by their Majesties, was followed by field trips on Friday, by the IFRC’s President to the LRCS operational sites, showcasing how the National Society acts in responding to the needs of vulnerable people. The sites included the Thaba-Bosiu Health centre run by the LRCS,  “which boasts some of the best Primary health Care services among its peers, including   Outpatient, Antenatal and Postnatal care, Maternity, HIV testing, counselling and  management, Reproductive Health, as well as Under five clinic services “, according to LRCS Health Services Co-ordinator, Ms Moluoane Ramakhula.

The delegation was also taken on a guided tour of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene WASH project sites in the Mohale’ s Hoek district, where they came face to face with some of the project beneficiaries at Ha Lebele in SiLoe, where 28 households are now enjoying the fruits of the project, in a form of Ventilated Pit Latrines and clean Water supply.