RWA Lesotho: The HRWA October Month

October has multiple national days such as bullying awareness days, the international day of non-violence, breast cancer awareness month, rural women day and world food day. This year World Food Day in Lesotho was celebrated at Sekameng village in Mafeteng district, where Rural Women in the district took part with their nutrition clubs, this was a national celebration as his Majesty King Letsie the III is the AU nutrition champion. 

The Rural Women in Mafeteng had stalls where they displayed their handcrafts and fresh produce, from their individual gardens.  As women are the ones who take care of the food the family eats it is essential for them to know how they are produced so that it is nutritious food for the family. The nutrition clubs and the backyard gardens are not an easy task for most of them as they do not have access or have to travel long distances in order to find water to irrigate them.

Nonetheless our country has got water as it has one of the biggest man-made dams in Southern Africa which supplies water to South Africa and is extending its supply. We do not have clear irrigation policies especially for rural women who suffer the most. This year rural women were not able to go to the fields for winter cropping as they did not have access to farming inputs. The struggle for rural women to access inputs is still real even though we have the king as the AU nutrition champion.

Rural women still manage to use the local available resources to make sure that they are able to produce enough food for their families. Our country has launched a project on water life. They say they are going to extract hydrogen to produce fuel for the cars. Question is how is this going to benefit our rural women especially who stay in remote mountainous areas? Are we not going to see scarcity of water in their areas and make them have to relocate and leave their pastures and fields behind in search of water? 

We are at the second phase of Lesotho Highlands Water Project but it is clear with evidence that the first phase did not work in favour of the women who were relocated and left to live a life that they are not used to and to struggle, not like that was enough those that are left are to face the impact of the second phase, and the transition of Lesotho to green hydrogen. 

Rural women from Lesotho urge the government to do proper prior consultations before they introduce these mega projects in the name of creating jobs and better living conditions for them, because it has not worked for them before and leave in fear that they still wont work for them in the future. The projects have seemed to be benefiting a few elites and making their lives difficult. They say they will continue to fight until their voices are heard.

Leave a Reply