In response to flood emergency that occurred in 3 districts(Leribe, Quthing and Mohale’s Hoek) in January 2023 that affected 72 people from 21 households, Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) handed over mattresses, blankets, food parcels and dignity kits to the victims from Leribe, Quthing, Mohale’s Hoek on the 27, and 28 respectively.
Speaking at Sixondo in the Quthing district at a village called Ha-silase where 22 beneficiaries from 7 households were affected, the President of LRCS Mr. Hareteke Nkhets’e said the main purpose of LRCS is to assist the community where disasters occurred so that people can get back to living their normal lives as they did before the disaster.
“Please note that there are kind hearted people inside and outside Lesotho who ensured that the Society performs its humanitarian role smoothly. This is done through the donation boxes that you see in different shops in the country”. The President said.
He further urged the community of Ha Silase to donate whatever they have in the donation boxes so that the Society can continue helping people affected by disasters. He then concluded by asking the community to form a response team so that whenever disaster occurs they are able to respond promptly and without delay.
The Disaster Management Authority (DMA) officer in Quthing district Ms. Ts’epang Maama said they were at Sixhondo on the 19th January 2023 to guide the community on how to take care of themselves during disasters caused by heavy rains. She, however, added that immediately after the awareness sessions Sixondo was hit by heavy rains.
“ What happened was beyond everyone’s control, no one anticipated it. Let us make sure that from today on we limit the possibilities of disasters like this from affecting our lives”. Ms. Maama said.
Ms. Maama stated that their office contacted their partners as soon as they heard about what happened in Sixhondo seeking assistance and LRCS was the first to respond.
On behalf of the victims, Mrs. ‘Maleloko Moorosi thanked the Society for the support. She said the flood started at 08:00pm on the 19th January 2023 when they were preparing to go to bed. She said they lost their clothes, furniture, food and important documents such as bank cards, national identity cards, patient’s booklets and birth certificates.
Mrs. Moorosi further indicated that as a result of their loss, especially the documents, they are unable to get assistance where they need it.
Mrs. Moorosi explained that children are traumatized by the incidence. She further stated that the storm left them with no food adding that their children go to bed on empty stomach. She concluded by thanking the neighbors for their support and love.
Mrs. ‘Marapelang Makhele on behalf of the community thanked the Society and promised the victims that they will continue to support them until they are back on their feet. She pleaded with the authority to relocate the victims to a safer place since the same incident happened in 1990 where 9 people were washed away by the same river and all died. She explained that only three bodies were recovered while the other six are still missing to date.
When closing the event, the chief of Ha Silase Mrs. ‘Mankatseng Tseloa thanked the Society for what it did and urged her community to support each other before expecting help from outside.
“ Life is so unpredictable, what happens to me today might happen to you tomorrow, so let us help each other hole heartedly.” She concluded.