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Five still missing in Thaba Tseka

by Lesotho Times
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Nthatuoa Koeshe

FIVE people who went missing after a taxi they were travelling in was swept away by a flooded river in Thaba Tseka on 22 March this year are still to be accounted for.

The incident happened when the driver of the taxi that was had 16 people on board attempted to cross a flooded low-lying bridge. The vehicle capsized and some people were swept away.

Eight people were rescued while three bodies were recovered. Another five people still have not been accounted for with growing fears that they might have died in the tragedy.

The Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) recently toured the villagers to offer therapy sessions to the affected families in Linakeng, Thaba Tseka to enable them to deal with the trauma.

The mother of one of the missing victims, Mabokang Morake told the Lesotho Times that she would only get closure if the body of her daughter is found.

She said she hopes to see her daughter for the last time and give her a dignified burial.

“I pray daily that someone will come and say more bodies were found because it kills me that Bokang’s body has not been found,” Ms Morake said.

The LRCS disaster management coordinator, Maine Makula said the therapy programme was necessary for the whole village.

“Apart from those that are directly affected by the accident, the whole community also requires therapy,” Mr Makula said.

Two counsellors who are volunteers from the LRCS spoke to numerous villagers and Mr Makula said they would in future hold more of such sessions.

“Therapy is a process that takes more than a day. It is a process and we will need to follow up as some will take longer to heal than others,” Mr Makula said.

Mr Makula however, pledged that the LRCS would individually visit the families to ensure that they get therapy.

He also advised the communities to form committees in areas that are prone to disaster who will be trained to assist each other whenever an emergency arises.

“Red Cross together with the Disaster Management Authority will try all means possible to form committees in different communities which will get trained so that they assist whenever there is a disaster,” he said

Thabo Senekane, one of the survivors of the accident said he was grateful for LRCS’s gesture.

“The therapy indeed helped me and I hope it has also helped others heal,” Mr Senekane said.

He said he was glad that LRCS intends to give villagers disaster management training as that will help save lives.

He pleaded with the authorities to ensure that another bridge is constructed to avoid similar incidences in future.

Speaking at the session, Quthing District Administrator, Masheae Rapholo said he was grateful to LRCS for the therapy.

He said some of the deceased were breadwinners and the families would benefit from the therapy given their loss.

“I am grateful to LRCS for being thoughtful and hopefully this will truly assist the families and the rest of the community to heal and move on with life,” Mr Rapholo said.

Police spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli said the search process has been cumbersome because of the many rivers that are interlinked downstream of the Linakeng River.

“We are still searching but the process is different from where we search in a dam.

“The river is connected to Sehong-hong River and Senqu River so we have to search from Linakeng to Quthing which is a wide area,” Supt Mopeli said.

 

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