Water issue: scarcity among plenty

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waterBy Mohalenyane Phakela

MASERU — Safe and clean water is a basic human right but it still remains scarce in some urban dwellings in Lesotho.

A locally produced documentary film The Darkest Hour addresses this problem facing Basotho.

At the foot of a mountain on the outskirts of Lesotho’s only city sits the small villages of Tšenola and Lepereng. The two villages, which are the most affected in the greater Maseru area, have been used as the setting of the film.

“The movies that we make are basically intended to raise awareness and drive people to react. We do researches so as to find problems that are facing different communities then do short films on them,” The Darkest Hour’s co-director Lepheane Mosooane told the Weekender in an interview on Monday.

“We were surprised to find out that just a few kilometres from Maseru, there are people who still cannot access clean and safe water. The residents draw water from a well which is open to different germs or bacteria that may contaminate the water. Besides that, there are sewage dams a short distance away from the source of water.

“For starters, Lesotho is known for having a lot of water which it sells to South Africa. The question that continues to linger on our minds is: Why are there people who cannot benefit from their country’s abundant resource?

A copy of the film was delivered to Prime Minister Thomas Thabane so that he can act on the matter. The Darkest Hour won the best amateur documentary award at the Lesotho Film Festival awards ceremony last Friday at Lehakoe, in Maseru.

“Through the untold story, we are trying to get the concerned parties to take action on the problem at hand. We do not just create awareness, we also follow up on the problem to see if there are solutions.

“We visited Wasco to find out why there is such a problem. They said they are awaiting leases from LAA and another thing is that it is difficult to pump water up the hill where the two villages are situated.

“The sewage dams have been closed and the residents of Tšenola and Lepereng have started a scheme that will raise funds for them to get clean water in abundance.

“We believe that the film has served its purpose and that other parts of the country with similar problems will get help and that water will become a basic human right in Lesotho,” said Mosooane.

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