By Sma Phethoka

“The Government of Lesotho is pleased that the tippy taps are placed in congested areas with the aim of improving hygiene and fighting the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic.”

This was said by the Deputy Minister of Water Mr. Lepota Sekola when officially launching the Lesotho Red Cross Society and Standard Lesotho Bank Tippy Tap Project at Mokhotlong Busstop on August 19th, 2020.

He appealed to the street vendors to ensure the safety of the tippy taps so that they can benefit them for a longer time.

Standard Lesotho Bank donated M217,000 to LRCS to construct 34 tippy taps, their tanks, soap dispenser and sinks.

In the meantime, the Deputy Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security Mr Likopo Mahase who was also present at the occasion said his Ministry has made a decision to give Lesotho Red Cross Society the responsibility to distribute food parcels instead of the government because “it is a neutral organization known for working without looking at people’s political affiliations but their needs”.

He added if the government distribute the food parcels it would always be blamed for bigotry. “Lesotho Red Cross is a hard-working organization that knows how to deal with donations always giving with dignity and transparency to beneficiaries”, Minister Mahase added.

The President of LRCS Mr Silas Mosuhli informed the gathering that the Society has been constructing tippy taps throughout the country with the aim of minimizing the spread of COVID 19, especially in areas where people are many like busstops, postoffices, health centres and other government offices that provide public assistance.

“There is a high possibility that COVID19 spreads more in congested areas. This is why today we are gathered here for the purpose of launching the tippy tanks project here at the busstop. We are greatly thankful for the donation from Standard Lesotho Bank and hope other corporates would do the same and support the work being done by the Society. The Society is dependent on donations such as this one,” Mosuhli added.

We are hopeful that the Minister of Water will ensure that the water tanks are always full of water,” Mosuhli mentioned.

LRCS Secretary General Mr. Kopano Masilo emphasized that these tippy tanks are going to be used for a long way at the health centers. He added that patients were assigned to wash their hands before they enter the clinics premises as well as upon their departure.

“Since COVID 19 begun, the Society had already constructed tippy taps at these health Centres. I can make an assurance that since these are durable and user-friendly, they will be of good importance to patience to also fight the virus,” Masilo underscored.

He added that Mokhotlong will receive six tippy taps and the tanks in the areas of Mapholaneng taxi rank, Moreneng, LRCS Health Centre – Mapholaneng, Mapholaneng High School, Khubelu Primary School as well as Mokhotlong taxi rank which is already mounted.

On one hand, the Acting Head of Marketing Standard Lesotho Bank, Mr. Manyathela Kheleli said since the COVID 19 pandemic hit Lesotho, the Bank was compelled to lend a helping hand in order to fight the virus.

“We want to assist in curbing the spread of the virus”, He said.

Kheleli further expressed that the wealth of the country is dependent on the country’s health. He demonstrated that the bank has put aside M1,550,000 for fighting COVID-19 in the country. He said so far 1.3 Million has been used to supporting the needy during the pandemic.

The Bank will continue to work hard for the betterment of people’ health even in this time of the pandemic,” Kheleli added.

One of the beneficiaries Mr. Mohlalefi Kokoropo, representing street vendors at the taxi rank indicated that they are thankful to have been given water to practice good hygiene.   He, however, appealed to the government to give them toilets so that proper hygiene practice is complete.

“Lesotho Red Cross Society is a great organization. We have seen its commitment in the district teaching people the importance of taking care of themselves in order to prevent the spread of COVID 19. They have taught us to construct our own tippy taps with available resources from our homes.”

On one hand, District Administrator Mr. Serame Linake indicated that he has recognized the works of the Society in Mokhotlong. He added that LRCS had done a great job in the District by constructing a number of tippy tanks.

He appealed to people who are not members of LRCS to join so that they also are part of hard-working team.

Also present at the occasion were the District Administrator for Mokhotlong Mr Serame Linake, Member of the National Executive Committee Mr Lekhupane Setsase,  the Secretary General of LRCS Mr Kopano Masilo, the District Health Manager Dr, Kabelo Matjeane, staff and volunteers of Mokhotlong Red Cross Division.