Africa-Press – Lesotho. Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) project in collaboration with Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) held a two day stakeholders workshop to discuss a way forward on fading wetlands.
The workshop was intended to deliberate on factors affecting the wetlands, also to guide media practitioners on how to approach and report on such issues.
Present were the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship Affairs, Agriculture and Food Security, Water, Forestry and Soil Conservation, Tourism, Environment and Culture and members of the Lesotho
Mounted Police Service. The Minister of Forestry and Soil Conservation Hon. Motlohi Maliehe reported during the workshop that the research studies on environment,
by the National University of Lesotho (NUL), are impressive. He encouraged the participants to work together in making sure that the wetlands are protected.
Maliehe appealed to journalists to report more on environmental issues which will sensitize the communities. “I would like to applaud efforts made by NUL towards
the environment. It is up to each one of us here to make sure that the wetlands are protected, also the journalists should report more on environmental issues
to educate people,” said Maliehe. Among the findings on wetlands research represented by NUL lecturer DR. Lerato Seleteng Kose, in other places, opportunistic plants such as rose hip have taken space on wetlands, making them
dry. Again Dr. Kose said they found out that in order to get rid of some opportunistic plants, they had to be rooted out; “However, they grew back because the seeds spilled on the ground”.
She added that not all these plants are useless. Rose hip is used by NUL incubation hub to make tea and the remains after production are exported internationally to make cosmetics.
LHDA Environment Branch Manager Palesa Monongoaha stated that an expert was hired to assess the conditions of 161 wetlands in the country. “The expert found out that 46 wetlands are completely
dry due to factors such as soil erosion and overgrazing,” she said. Berea District Administrator (DA) Liteboho Tšola indicated that participating in this workshop was an eye opening opportunity,
adding that he is now aware of the state of Lesotho in terms of global warming. He noted that it is the responsibility of every Mosotho to make sure that the
wetlands are taken care of and encourage their communities to do so. The goal of the ICM project is to ensure the sustainable management of land and water resources in Lesotho.
It is aimed at combatting land degradation and the depletion of water catchments in the country. The successful implementation of the programme is expected to: protect
and conserve water resources in the country, preserve Lesotho’s vast wetlands and ecosystems, reduce soil erosion and desertification, rejuvenate agricultural lands, and improve the resilience of Basotho and their livelihoods. Thus, the action contributes through its objective to several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).