Over 600 families of Ha Ntho village in the Quthing district will benefit from the government subsidised electrification project estimated at over M10 million.
Each of the families will pay a total of M2 000 with the bulk of the installation fee, over M14 000 to be covered by the government as electrification subsidy.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Quthing, Minister of Energy and Meteorology, Mohapi Mohapinyane, indicated that the initiative is geared towards bettering the lives of the residents of the area hence government decided to foot the bill for the lion’s share of the electrification amount.
“The government of Lesotho has subsided with M 14 978 for each house hold to install electricity. The M2 000 you have paid is not the total amount of the required money, it is only so that you as an individual and a member of this community, contribute something towards development of the infrastructure of your community,” Mohapinyane said.
He pleaded with the Ha-Ntho community to work well in the building of the infrastructure of their community and be forward-thinkers who do not linger in the past. This he said in relation to the fact the electrification project was supposed to have been initiated some years ago. However, that had not been case as only holes and tranches had been dug and been left open in the village to the detriment of people and livestock who would fall into the open precipices and holes and be badly injured.
“I know we have been here before in the past and had intentions of installing electricity for you, but there were hiccups we encountered along the journey” Mohapinyane said.
He urged the community to sympathise with the contractors for the challenges of the past, further giving his word that this time around they would ensure that the contractors deliver according to set mandate.
He pointed out that the reason there was no progress in the past was not solely the fault of the contractor but that of the ministry and the government, and therefore urged the Ha-ntho community to take good care of the equipment to be used for the installation of electricity in the community as it would benefit all of them.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Kemiso Mosenene reiterated the fact that government had heard the community’s cries regarding the injuries caused by incomplete work.
“I have had several calls from you as the community over injuries to your children and animals because of previously unfinished work whence holes were left open thus posing a threat to your livelihoods,” Mosenene explained.
Meanwhile Mosenene claimed to have had an altercation with one of his former colleagues because of his constant reminder to them to make the electricity process move quicker before more damage could be done to the community.
He therefore, thanked the Minister of Energy and Meteorology for finally making things happen for his community as they have been waiting for a long time for the improvement of infrastructure of their community.
Member of the community, ‘Mantšeng Qhotsi, who also happens to be member of the Khanya Basotho, says they have been waiting since 2005 for electricity to be installed in their community.
In an interview with this publication Qhotsi said the money they have kept in the bank as a community organising the committee has slowly been dwindling eaten away by bank charges since they have been keeping the money for a long time now.
“Our patience has turned into nothing but turmoil and loss” wailed Qhotsi. This was after the community members contributed scheme money for electricity installation since 2005.
She said the community had eventually begun losing hope in them as an organising committee that has entrusted them with money with the hope of the eventuality of electricity connection.
“We have been accused of having stolen the money and using it for our personal needs. While in actual fact we have been waiting to hear from the government and the contractor on which way to take since people had already taken out their money to kick start this process,” she moaned.
She pointed out, however, that in spite of the lengthy wait, they are elated to finally be remembered after an arduous waiting.