Habitat, Standard Bank rescue Leribe family


Bataung Moeketsi

STANDARD Lesotho Bank and Habitat for Humanity Lesotho this week handed over a two-roomed house to 70-year-old ‘Majoalane Maphatšoe and her four orphaned grandchildren in Kolonyama – Ha-Rakolo, Leribe.

The construction of the house began on 21 September 2019.

Habitat senior operations manager Lebohang Mariti-Lijane and Standard Lesotho Bank’s acting chief executive officer (CEO) Thabiso Tsenki handed over the house at a ceremony attended by community council representative Tlokotsang Nthatakane.

The Maphatšoe family previously alternated between two dilapidated mud-houses, depending on the weather as one would often collapse while the other had a leaking roof.

The family survives on Ms Maphatšoe’s monthly M750 old age pension grant, a quarterly M600 child grant and hand-outs.

The Ha-Rakolo community selected the family to be the beneficiary of Habitat for Humanity’s Vulnerable Group Housing (VGH) programme, in collaboration with Standard Lesotho Bank’s Bank@work strategy.

Eighteen-year-old Moleboheng Maphatšoe told the Lesotho Times that they were happy to have a new home because their old house had roof leaks that made it difficult to sleep in.

“We would alternate sleeping in both houses. One of them often got blown away, so we would have to sleep in the other one whose roof leaked,” Ms Moleboheng said.

In addition to the house, the organisations built an outhouse for the family and provided them with a solar powered Ace ultra-clean biomass cook stove that also functions as a cell phone charger.

For her part, Ms Mariti-Lijane said her office continues to receive many requests and they would continue to change the lives of Basotho living under vulnerable conditions alongside Standard Lesotho Bank.

“We are thankful for our partnership with Standard Bank and we say the blue bank should grow so that in future we may reach other Basotho who are in need because we are not done yet,” Ms Mariti-Lijane said.

Mr Tsenki said Standard Lesotho Bank would continue giving back to the community so that they too may benefit for as long as Basotho support their organisation.

“We have so far built 14 houses with Habitat for Humanity across the country. This is the second house this year after we took on the task of providing people with homes for a duration of three year and we have committed to meeting Habitat halfway with funding amounting to M400 000,” Mr Tsenki said.

Mr Nthatakane said he was happy for the Maphatšoe family. He added that even though they now had a house, the family would still need food.

He told the Lesotho Times that many Ha-Rokolo residents were vulnerable and pleaded for additional aid from the government and other stakeholders.

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