This Mothers ’Day, ReNOKA features ‘Mathuso Tanka, an amazing woman actively involved in the protection of natural resources to improve her family’s well being and the livelihoods of other Basotho.
She is a married mother of 2 who has spent most of her life at Menkhoaneng, Ha Ntholi in the Upper Mohokarane Catchment Area.
ReNOKA is working with it’s partner, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to train communities to form savings group which are empowering communities on climate resilience. The Saving and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) initiative teaches communities on measures of promoting sustainable livelihoods through community collaborations. Currently there are 120 savings and lending groups under the ReNOKA with 1861 members in 6 sub-catchments. These groups have mobilized M1,587,920.00 amongst themselves and have issued loans to the members to the tune of M1,578.219.00 between January and December 2022.
‘Mathuso completed her high school in 2004 and since then, she has not had formal employment. She has received short term jobs from Government of Lesotho cash for work programs and part-time work during general elections.
“It is hard to find jobs here at Menkhoaneng. Many of my agemates have migrated to Maputsoe and Maseru, where they work in factories manufacturing clothes and shoes” she said.
Speaking on the role of women in natural resources management, she said women often manage households and pursue multiple livelihood strategies which are dependent on natural resources. “Typical activities that women are involved in, in caring for their families include agriculture, collecting firewood, water, engaging in trade and marketing hence I realized the need to protect our land and water resources”, she said.
‘Mathuso joined the ReNOKA movement in 2021 as part of the Menkhoaneng Community Watershed Team (CWT). She was trained on natural resources management and promoting sustainable livelihoods.
One of the trainings she received included establishing Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) where today, she is providing technical support to other SILC groups she helped establish.
After completing the training and graduating (see above picture) in November 2022, ’Mathuso is now a certified Private Service Provider with her new role including, supporting SILC groups with financial management (see the below picture) at a service fee. ReNOKA seeks to upscale initiatives such as SILC to other areas outside the current intervention zones
So far, she has established 5 groups in the villages of ‘Mate Moreneng, ‘Mate Liphaleng, Lentsoaneng, Menkhoaneng Ha Ntholi which she supports monthly. Her aim is to bring women and young people to a level where they have community savings groups to improve their resilience to climatic change that affects their livelihoods.
ReNOKA (‘we are a river’) is a national programme and citizen movement for the restoration of land and water in Lesotho and the Orange-Senqu basin. Support for ReNOKA is provided through a partnership between the Government of Lesotho, the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The EU and BMZ contributions are implemented through a technical assistance project “Support to Integrated Catchment Management in Lesotho” by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
For more information
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National ICM Coordinator, ICM Coordination Unit
GIZ Programme Manager, Support to Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) in Lesotho
‘This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Integrated Catchment Management unit and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)’