Thousands of Basotho are set to benefit in the implementation roll-out of the Greater Maseru Water Supply Project (GMWSP) which was launched by the Prime Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro at Maqhaka in South West of the Berea district earlier this week.
Some 4000 households and a total of no less than 20 000 residents are expected to benefit in the water supply under the initiative with an estimate of 2000 to benefit through employment acquisition in a number of villages around the capital Maseru as well as the Berea district.
Speaking at the event of the launch, Majoro indicated that the project with a cost estimate of about M 505 million (US$30 million), has been financially supported by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC Fund) each with US$14 million (about M 236 million), with the government of Lesotho pledging US$2 million (about M 33. 7 million).
The Prime Minister outlined that, this is line with ensuring the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 6 that seeks to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2035.
Majoro said the project is expected to resume in early August and be completed in a period of two years, adding that the construction work was awarded to a joint venture of foreign contractors in the Consolidated Contractors Company Engineering Ltd. (CCCE), China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO), and Saba Makhlouf (SM) (CCCE-CHICO-SM), with some 10 local companies as sub-contractors.
He urged the communities that will benefit from the project to protect it even for future generations, further advising them to start agricultural projects around the project for economic growth.
For his part, the Minister of Water and Sanitation Kemiso Mosenene said the project was supposed to have started long ago but that it was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic which barred among others, traveling for contract signing by the constructor.
He said the project will benefit the villages around Maseru town and Berea which include, Maseru South, Ha Bosofo, Ha Makhaothi, Mazenod Ha Paki, Ha â€˜Masana, Ha Tsautse, Ha Tsâ€™iame, Qoaling, Ha Mabote, Tsâ€™enola, Ha Foso, Marabeng, Berea, Senekale, Sehlabeng sa Thuathe as well as other places that will immerge during the project.
Mosenene pleaded to people who will benefit to work corporately with the constructor.
â€˜Mamolapo Qhobela Majara the Principal Chief of Maqhaka disclosed that they had to travel to as far as Ha Buasono to get water, saying that with the project, life would be better, since the previous water system that was installed could not accommodate all households in their community and as result broke-down from-time-to-time.
The Constructor Representative Yang Jun Mark said as the world-leading EPC contractors, the CCCE, CHICO and SM consortium has rich experience in all kinds of construction engineering in areas like water supply and sewage, water treatment, multi-purpose dams for water supply and hydroelectric power, renewable energy, power generation, transmission and distribution, road and bridge construction, airport and stadium building and so on.
â€œWe have completed many projects in Africa and the Middle East in especially the water supply field. For this reason, I believe that we will deliver a perfect project as that is what we are used to,â€ he said. Meanwhile, in an interview with Newsday, the Senior Information Officer of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation Leepo Mabusa clarified that the GMWSP will be implemented by drawing water from the main pipe from the Metolong Water Project, adding that the reason for having foreign companies as contractors was that it was part of the fundersâ€™ terms and conditions.