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Rains flood graveyard, wash corpses away

Business

…as some six bodies go missing

Mafa Moleko

The recent torrential rains that have ravaged throughout the country left the residents of Thaba-Ntšo in the Mokhotlong district in a state of shock as graves went agape as a result of land sliding.

This was disclosed by the Mokhotlong District Administrator (DA) Serame Linake who raised an alarm to Mokhotlong community in regard to the surging rains. He said the land is flooded thus cracking open into huge dongas valleys which tear and ebb away at land including by gravesides.

“The heavy rains started to wash-away the soil and opening cracks that exposed corpses outside two tombs,” said Linake.

He said the graveyard is under threat and will need be relocated as some eight more graves are reported to have gone awash with corpses washed down the Senqu River.

“I have just received another message that there are two corpses found in the river as the six others are still missing,” he said adding the that two corpses cannot be identified due to their state of decompose and shall be buried again without family ceremonies.

“We are afraid that if the rains keep on increasing we will face more damage and our people’s lives are at stake especially those who are close to the valley or river banks,” he said.

The hunt for the eight missing bodies has meanwhile begun.

According to Linake, the situation is threatening so many lives that one member of the community was advised to abandon their house to avoid the risk of having their house collapse during the night as a result of heavy rains. He said the destruction calls for all community relocated together with the graves to avoid any unforeseen circumstances that may lead to deaths.

It is said over 150 families will have to be displaced to another place. He said there are no fields around the area so people don’t need to worry about losing their fields.

“We even had to advise a certain woman not to sleep in her house because the crakes were herding straight to the middle of the house and were likely to break into pieces that would cost her life,” he said.

The Lesotho Metrology Services (LMS) Spokesperson Rammolenyane Lethaha explained that the landslides which are caused by soil erosion have become common in the highlands of Lesotho particularly in Mokhotlong.

According to Lethaha, since last week there have been reports of gravesite ravaged by the rains. He said the stone sliding into the roads is also common in Lesotho.

The attempts to get the side of the Disaster Management Authority (DMA) were futile until the time of going to print last night.

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