Storm Mountain Diamonds which operates Kao mine donated 30 rams, an office and boardroom space as well as five accommodation houses to wool and mohair farmers of Kao host communities in Motete Butha-Buthe.
Kao Mine Chief Executive Officer Mohale Ralikariki, said helping their host communities address the challenges they are faced with was one of the promises they made when they brought the mine to Kao adding that the donation was one of the ways by which they are keeping up to their promise.
Ralikariki stated that they learned that wool and mohair farming had a huge potential in growing the countryâ€™s economy hence after their enquiry with their association in Butha Buthe as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, they decided on the gift which will produce quality wool and mohair.
He said some of the challenges faced by Lesotho were poverty, high unemployment rate, and deteriorated economy because of Covid-19 and that it is their responsibility to also see to it that they support the government in tackling some of the challenges faced.
Ralikariki said during their consultations with the community, they also learned that the woolshed was not in good shape hence they also helped with accommodation facilities for workers at the woolshed.
He said the office and boardroom will be beneficial for meetings held there.
Ralikariki said their expectation is that they start here and later move to other districts as every Mosotho has to benefit from the resources of the country brought by, by the mine. He however stated that they just found it fitting to begin in Butha Buthe as that is where they are situated.
He pleaded with the agriculture ministry to have a database and record the progress seen from the 30 rams so that they can reflect back in a year to see the change they brought to wool and mohair farming in Butha Buthe.
Ralikariki also called upon other companies to come together and help in promoting wool and mohair farming in the country as it has proven to have potential in growing the countryâ€™s economy.
Handing over the rams to the beneficiaries Deputy Prime Minister Mathibeli Mokhutho, said the government was grateful for the initiative done by Kao mine.
â€œThe developments done by this mine in Butha Buthe are countless and by that we are also grateful as the government. We have seen this mine build houses, schools and now they are handing over infrastructure and rams to the wool and mohair farmers in Butha Buthe and we are grateful,â€ Mokhothu said.
He said he was also pleased to see them improving their indigenous life adding that he is glad that the mine will also be working on improving the rangelands
One of the beneficiaries said buying a ram was very expensive that sometimes people exchange it for a cow and having the mine donate 30 rams was a huge thing for farmers.
â€œThis is a huge thing for farmers and we are grateful because we wouldnâ€™t have done it because of the mine. Rams are expensive and having the mine buy it for us is overwhelming,â€ he said.
On the same breath on behalf of the Wool and Mohair Farmersâ€™ Association, chairman Tumahole Lerafa said the mine outdid itself with the donation.
He said he was grateful, and thanked the mine saying in the past Kao approached their association and showed interest in giving back to the community.
â€œWe survive through wool and mohair farming and having rams donated is a big improvement to the farmers,â€ Lerafa said, adding that they chose farmers who have a huge interest and determination to make sure the association exists as beneficiaries saying they trusted that those beneficiaries will take a good care of the rams and ensure that they benefit the whole association.