MASERU – Survivors of Lesotho Dams (SOLD) is troubled by the worldwide spread of COVID-19 which has also crept into the African continent – and neighbouring South Africa – which the association charges poses a threat to key constituents of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP).
SOLD accuses the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA), the authority responsible for the LHWP on the Lesotho side, for silence on the outbreak and how it will affect workers and residents around the LHWP Phase II Polihali project area; the Polihali Dam is part of Phase II of the massive bi-national LHWP – a multi-phased project to provide water to South Africa.
“People work in the Polihali project area are in danger because they are clustered and health officials have urged people not to be clustered to avoid infection,” remarked SOLD national coordinator Lenka Thamae on Tuesday.
According to Thamae the LHDA should also take serious measures to ensure that hygiene is maintained at the Katse and ‘Muela Dams by providing and enforcing compulsory utilization of surgical face masks by people working and visiting these places, adding the authority to collaborate with the Ministry of Health to embark on campaigns to sensitize the people in the Polihali project area in Mokhotlong about the disease.
“We implore the Ministry of Health officials to also provide nurses that shall provide COVID-19 education and services to the factory workers and provide the ambulances in all pandemic hotspots. We are further worried that cabinet minister and senior government officials who have recently returned from international duty have not been isolated for the 14 required days to ensure that they are infected,” Thamae added.
Meanwhile, SOLD has also disparaged a recent video clip of the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Chief Joang Molapo, that surfaced on social media platforms in what appeared to be an interview with him where he said Lesotho remained the safest place despite to world tourists to visit despite the COVID-19 scare.