STANDARD Lesotho Bank (SLB) on Monday partnered Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation Ministry for a tree planting exercise in Butha-Buthe.
The event also acted as the launch of a countrywide tree-planting initiative.
The launch was marked with the planting of 80 peach trees at Thuso e tla tsoa kae School for the disabled in Butha Buthe.
SLB acting head of marketing and communication Manyathela Kheleli said the bank is funding the tree planting initiative to the tune of M600 000. The Forestry ministry will administer the donation for the next three years.
“We planted 80 trees at this school today to launch and solidify our partnership with the Forestry ministry which will last for three years,” Mr Kheleli said.
“We will be planting fruit trees at orphanages and schools for the disabled so that they can benefit from the trees for both food security and income generation.”
The initiative will also see the planting of non-fruit trees to boost Lesotho’s forests.
Mr Kheleli the project was in line with the bank’s drive of empowering Basotho to avoid donor dependency.
Forestry Minister Motlohi Maliehe said the partnership came at the time when Covid-19 had rundown the country’s economy and the ministry was faced with a major challenge of lack of funds to buy trees.
“This came at the right time when the ministry is faced with challenges and cannot buy trees and we thank Standard Lesotho Bank for reaching out to us,” Mr Maliehe said.
He appealed to other companies to emulate the SLB by giving back to the communities in which they operate.
Mr Maliehe also appealed to the beneficiaries to jealously guard the trees to ensure last benefits that include providing clean breathing air.