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Lesotho Seeks to Unlock Green Energy Opportunities

12 October 2023 by Pascalinah Kabi 

From left to right: National Assembly Speaker Tlohang Sekhamane, Naturals Resources Minister Mohlomi Moleko, Prime Minister Samuel Matekane and Metsi ke Bophelo Director Mashudu Ramano sit together during the opening of Water Expo in Maseru today. Credit: Ramafahla Thamae.

As the number of people with no access to portable water rises in Lesotho, Prime Minister Samuel Matekane marked the opening of a water expo by highlighting that the country has failed to tap into its natural resources to unlock economic opportunities.

“We remain poor even though we have been blessed with many natural resources which could see our country flourish,” Matekane said when he officiated a two-day Metsi ke Bophelo Water and Hydrogen in the Digital Future Conference and Expo in Maseru on 12 October 2023.

The expo, which seeks to harness Lesotho’s abundant water to unlock economic opportunities, has been described as a an innovate and ground-breaking event by African Development Bank. Matekane believes ideas from this conference will be a basis for Lesotho’s contribution to regional solutions to water scarcity and electricity crisis.

He says Lesotho can contribute to regional solutions by “harnessing our renewable energy potential to support the region’s energy needs.”

“Lesotho stands ready to collaborate in the management and equitable distribution of this precious resource, knowing that water knows no political boundaries,” he said. 

Although Lesotho is a water tower of southern Africa, majority of its people do not have access to portable water. About twelve months ago, the post reported that over 40 000 people in Lesotho need access to safe drinking water.

When addressing the water conference on 12 October 223, Minister of Natural Resources Mohlomi Moleko admitted that “many Basotho” do not have access to safe drinking water.

“In spite of Lesotho being known globally for its abundant water resources, many Basotho to this day remain without access to portable water and sanitation,” Moleko said, adding that his ministry will work hard to ensure that every Lesotho citizen has access to portable water.

Unlocking economic opportunities 

“Through this conference, we wish to uncover methods and resources to speed up the achievements of this vision and to strengthen commitment to social and economic upliftment of our citizens,” Moleko said.

According to Moleko, Lesotho aims to become a net exporter of clean renewable power to South Africa and using its water to generate green energy.

“This will be our contribution to the fight against global warming and climate change by ensuring that less dependence is made on fossil fuels to power our economies in southern African.

“Through this conference, we wish to unlock further ways and means to our water resources to produce clean electricity and green hydrogen, which is the fuel of the future,” Moleko said.

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