The government this week launched M88 million integrated watershed management four-year project in Sepala, Quthing.
The project will be implemented by the ministry of forestry, range and soil conservation in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
It is named Integrated Watershed Management for Improved Agro-Pastoral Livelihoods.
The project coordinator, Sechaba Monakale, said the project is going to be implemented in the sebapala sub-catchment, starting from the watershed of the Sebapala River to where the river meets the Senqu River.
â€œIt is estimated that the project will take four years. We will do the work hand in hand with members of the Tosing community and ensure that there is gender equality when jobs are allocated,â€ Monakale said on Tuesday.
â€œThe total budget for the project is estimated at M88 029 216 for the whole duration of four years,â€ he added.
He mentioned that the projectâ€™s main objective is to mainstream sustainable rangeland management and restoration into the use of watersheds.
This is to combat land degradation, enhance the flow of agro-ecosystem goods and services and improve the livelihoods of agro-pastoral communities in the Sebapala sub-catchment in the lower Senqu Basin.
RatÅ¡ele RatÅ¡ele, the project manager, said the project started in June 2022 and is expected to end in August 2026.
It is funded by the government of Lesotho, UNDP and the Global Environment Facility, RatÅ¡ele also said.
He indicated that the project will be implemented at Sebapala because the place has, among others, pastures and watersheds that need to be rehabilitated.
â€œTosing or Sebapala community was chosen because it was found to be one of the communities that are poverty-stricken and have been hit hard by climate change and the government is interested in addressing these challenges,â€ he said.
He said the project will work in three phases.
The first phase will entail the training of community leaders and community members and the second phase will entail the actual work.
â€œThe third phase will be monitoring and evaluation,â€ he said.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Sempe constituency, Lehlohonolo Mosoang indicated that the project is of great importance to the community as it will create jobs for members of the community, most of whom are unemployed.
Mosoang pleaded with members of the community to take care of the project even after four years so that even future generations can benefit from it.
He also mentioned that the project is going to help increase tourism â€œbecause when the place is rehabilitated, falls in this area will start to attract touristsâ€.