Standard Bank, Habitat rescue disabled Maseru man

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Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE Standard Lesotho Bank and Habitat for Humanity this week presented 66-year-old Masilo Thulo Maphathe with a new two roomed house at Ha Toloane, in Motsekuoa in the Maseru district.

Habitat for Humanity national director ‘Mathabo Makuta and Standard Lesotho Bank chief executive officer, Mpho Vumbukane handed over the house in the presence of the Minister of Social Development, Matebatso Doti. The Maseru district administrator, Mpane Nthunya was also present.

Mr Maphathe’s old house was dilapidated and nearing collapse and the situation was exacerbated by his disability.

The only surviving sibling in a family of five, Mr Maphathe has lived alone since the death of his parents in the 90s.

Although he was born without any disabilities, he fell ill as a two-year toddler and the illness left him crippled. He uses his hands to support his feet to balance his walking.

Although he has a wheelchair, Mr Maphathe noted that he prefers walking with his two hands and feet because he moves farther than when in a wheelchair.

His old house was built of mud and rocks and had cracks that threatened to collapse the walls. Neighbours had used a barbed wire and a wooden to reinforce the weak walls.

The cracks in the walls and the aged roof made him vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. At one time, fearing that the house may collapse, Mr Maphathe took out the window frames and inserted them on a rondavel just in case his main house collapsed.

However, the rondavel too looked as though it could collapse any time.

Learning about Mr Maphathe’s predicament, Standard Lesotho Bank partnered with Habitat for humanity and constructed the new two-roomed house and a toilet.

They also gave him a newly invented clean energy stove which is solar charged and is also used to warm and light the house.

Speaking at the handover, Mr Vumbukane said the bank has begun a three-year relationship with Habitat where they will assist in the construction of two houses each year.

“We gave money amounting to M400 000 to Habitat for Humanity to aid the less privileged members of the community get decent houses,” Mr Vumbukane said.

He said Mr Maphathe’s house was the sixth that they have helped build since 2013 under their Bank@work strategy.

For her part, Ms Makuta said Habitat will continue to empower people in the country’s disadvantaged communities to overcome the chronic lack of decent housing.

She said they help orphans, disabled people as well as old people get decent houses and Mr Maphathe fit the description hence they seceded to assist.

“We built this house together with Standard Bank because we saw the need and we hope he takes good care of it,” Ms Makuta said.

Ms Doti said it was time that the private sector organisations set aside 2 percent of their budgets for social protection to help communities that are in dire need.

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