Maseru, 05 July 2022
ReNOKA commemorates World Environment Day 2022
The ReNOKA movement facilitated a series of youth-led clean-up campaigns in June and July as part of the commemorative activities for World Environment Day on 5 June 2022.
Activities took place in four priority sub-catchments, those being Hlotse (Leribe), Khubelu (Mokhotlong), Maletsunyane (Semonkong) and Likhetla (Mafeteng). The goal of the campaign was to engage 1,000 students and youth, supported by the general public, and collect a total of five tonnes of litter.
Despite dumping sites lacking the scales required to measure the overall clean-up tonnage, ReNOKA is satisfied with the awareness raised on the importance of youth participation in cleaning up the environment. ReNOKA believes that all people, but especially the youth, must take responsibility for taking care of the areas surrounding Lesotho’s sub-catchments.
The Lesotho Department of Environment assisted with organising cleaning routes in the four sub-catchments, and provided cleaning materials to volunteers such as gloves, refuse bags and masks.
250 people attended the cleaning campaign in Hlotse, Leribe, on 6 June. These included 100 youth, as well as representatives of the business community, NGOs and various government ministries including the Department of Environment and the Red Cross. Also in attendance were the chairperson of the Hlotse Urban Council, the District Administrator and the village chief.
In Mapholaneng, Khubelu, more than 300 people – including 50 youth – commemorated World Environment Day on 10 June. Four van loads of garbage were collected and taken to the local dump, where participants identified the need for a treatment or recycling plant in Mokhotlong to ensure waste is not burned or scattered in the environment. The Principal Chief of Malingoaneng Hon. Qeto Sekonyela, Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, Lesotho Mounted Police Services (LMPS), National Security Services (NSS) and the Seate Community Council J01 were also part of the campaign.
The need for dumpsite management was also identified in Likhetla, where participants noted the potential risk to downstream and underground water resources posed by the Qalabane District dumpsite. The government ministries, notably Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, office of District Administrator, representatives of the Mafeteng Urban Council, together with students from the Lesotho Agriculture College (Leribe Campus) and entrepreneurs joined 200 volunteers to clean up the town centre. Noting the underrepresentation of the business community, the district administrator proposed introducing a ‘clean-up hour’ for the area, where businesses would be closed to allow employees to participate.
“The theme for this year’s World Environment Day was ‘Only One Earth’. This is something we took to heart, and ReNOKA’s unofficial slogan for our clean-up activities was ‘Only One Lesotho’,” said Kefilwe Kosan, ReNOKA Youth Expert. “This is our rallying cry for all Basotho. We are taking positive steps to ensure that youth are positively engaged in dialogue, otherwise they will not be part of the solution.”
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)’