Minister lauds Earth Hour initiative

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Energy and Meteorology Minister, Khotso Letsatsi viewing the school projects

Mohalenyane Phakela

ENERGY and Meteorology Minister, Khotso Letsatsi has called on the public to support the Earth Hour initiative by switching off their electronic appliances on 25 March for at least an hour as part of efforts to increase public awareness on the importance of preserving nature and the environment by conserving energy.

Mr Letsatsi made the appeal during yesterday’s launch of the Earth Hour initiative at a hotel in Maseru.

Earth Hour is a global initiative aimed at creating awareness on the importance of mitigating the destructive effects of climate change and protecting the environment by conserving energy.

Earth Hour began as an event where lights were switched off in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to encompass 172 countries and the 2017 edition will be commemorated on 25 March at 8:30 pm to 9:30pm local time.

Lesotho began marking the Earth Hour in 2011 after the initiative was adapted by Khaya Holdings and the Lesotho Electricity Company.

Yesterday’s launch was attended by representatives from the Energy Ministry, LEC, Khaya Holdings, high school teachers and students who brought energy conserving projects that they presented to stakeholders and demonstrated how they were used.

These included a solar microwave made from boxes and foil as well as a cellphone-operated electric stove.

Mr Letsatsi said that it was every Mosotho’s responsibility to take action, not only on the day but throughout the month to conserve energy.

“Lesotho generates electricity through water but then most of the electricity we use which is imported is manufactured from coal which negatively affects the environment,” Mr Letsatsi said, adding, “Lesotho fully supports the Earth Hour initiative, therefore I plead with every Mosotho to take action and support the initiative by switching off their electronic appliances to contribute to changing the world for the better”.

“Lesotho started commemorating the day in 2011 and in 2015 it saved 4.7 Megawatts of electricity and I would like to see more being achieved this year.

“Let us also teach our children the importance of conserving energy.”

Khaya Holdings Chief Executive Officer, Tumahole Lechesa said that it was important to involve the students as the conservation of energy can best be handled through mathematics and science subjects.

“No country can develop without mathematics and science subjects so we involved the students for them to learn more about energy conservation so that they can develop more energy conserving projects.

“The projects that they brought today are environmentally friendly and we hope they will be sold to big companies that will use them to conserve energy,” Mr Lechesa said.

He said they would visit all districts to spread awareness of the initiative.

For his part, LEC General Manager, Bernard Masoabi said it was their responsibility as a power utility to support the initiative and engage in different initiatives to create awareness.

“From today onwards we will engage in different initiatives to create awareness and these include wearing Earth Hour t-shirts every Friday as well as spreading the message on our media platforms.

“I am greatly pleased with the projects the students presented today therefore LEC will consider helping them develop,” he said.

The teachers appealed for financial support to increase the number of students who enrolled for science subjects and participated in projects.

 

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