LETŠENG Diamond Mine last Thursday donated personal protective equipment (PPE) and food parcels worth M800 000 to 483 families in the Phutha Lichaba and Pae lea Itlhatsoa areas of Mokhotlong.
The handover ceremony was attended by the Minister of Mining Serialong Qoo, businessman Sam Matekane and Letšeng chief executive officer Kelebone Leisanyane among others.
Mr Qoo told guests at the event that he was happy to see the mine working to alleviate the community’s challenges.
He encouraged other mines to emulate Letšeng by giving back to their host communities.
“Mines should give back to the community and I am happy that Letšeng has done this gesture to show that even during these difficult times of Covid-19, the Mokhotlong community is not alone,” Mr Qoo said.
He implored the villagers to use the donations effectively instead of selling them as has become the norm in other communities.
“I have learnt that it has become a norm for some to resell food parcels but this is not the time for that. During times like this, we only have to take care of ourselves and ensure that we are well and safe from Covid-19. Let us use these parcels responsibly and not sell them.”
For his part, Mr Leisanyane said they were happy to assist the community in its time of need.
He said the mine recently reopened after implementing protective measures such as screening and encouraging their staff to wash hands frequently and also observe social distancing protocols to ensure their safety.
“Letšeng has also taken an initiative to train 48 village health workers to inform the community about Covid-19 and how they can protect themselves from it,” Mr Leisanyane said.
He noted that Letšeng has also donated a building to the Ministry of Health in Maseru which will be used for Covid-19 testing. The building is ready for use.
Mokhotlong district administrator, Serame Linake, condemned the rise in criminal activities where thieves break into homes to steal food parcels for beneficiaries.
“Something must be done to stop these criminal activities because some of the perpetrators are known to the public. We have old and vulnerable people in our community and they are not safe from these criminals as long as they are out there,” Mr Linake said.
Mr Linake thanked Letšeng for the continued support to the communities.
Masememe Thethana, one of the beneficiaries who lives with a terminal health condition, said she was happy to receive food parcels as she can no longer do part time work which normally sustains her.
“I take medication daily and I must have food all the time to take with the medication, so I am happy for the assistance,” Ms Thethana said.