Lesotho granted M1.89 billion loan

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Lesotho granted M1.89 billion loan
Lesotho granted M1.89 billion loan

Africa-PressLesotho. Minister of Finance, Dr Moeketsi Majoro on account of the government of Lesotho, signed two loan agreements for the financing of the Lowlands Water Development

Project-Phase ІІ (LLWDP-ІІ) and the Lesotho Smallholder Agricultural Development Project- Phase ІІ (SADP- ІІ). The World Bank contributed $10 million (approximately M149.1 million) while the International Fund for

Agricultural Development (IFAD) financed $10 million (approximately M149.1 million) of which $5 million is a grant and another $5 million is a loan. The

government of Lesotho also subsidized $3.5 million (approximately M52.2 million) for the SADP-ІІ. On his opening speech Majoro said the loan includes grants, and stated that the money being loaned for the LLWDP is

and addition to the previous amount and will specifically be used to cover the areas of Maputsoe and Hlotse. “The objective of the project is to improve the

living standards, address water security challenges and advance steadfast water supply for domestic, institutional and industrial use in Maputsoe,” confirmed

Majoro. He furthered that the surrounding settlements particularly those along the bulk water transmission pipeline being the likes of Ha-Setene, Sebothoane, Ha-Lesiamo, Khanyane, Tsikoane, St.

Monica’s and Mpharane too will benefit from the developments. In addition he stated that approximately 115 000 inhabitants and the industrial sector are all to benefit

from these developments. Consequently the government of Lesotho through Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security aims to improve and increase agricultural productivity in smallholder agriculture sector.

The first phase of the project has already been implemented in Butha-Buthe, Leribe, Berea and Mafeteng. However the SADP ІІ will be executed nationwide across the 10 districts.

World Bank Country Representative for Lesotho Janet Entwistle manifested that the two projects will encourage economic growth, improvement in agricultural sector and water supply for economic

activities which will lead to enhanced nutrition among Basotho. “I would like to congratulate and thank the government of Lesotho as well as the development

partners, the European Union, the IFAD and the Japanese Policy and Human Resource Development Fund, for the work that went into preparing these beneficial projects.

We look forward to greater collaboration in the implementation” said Entwistle. She continued “Lesotho is well indulged with water hence it’s also trading it to some neighboring countries, yet the water scarcity is still

a huge problem. [p1] I am however delighted that the World Bank is taking part in improving this challenge,” In addition, the government of Japan under the Policy and Human Resources Development fund extended to Lesotho a

grant to the tune of M28.9 million towards the improvement of agricultural productivity commercialization as well as nutrition. The grand will be put under inspection, and financing from this grant will further enable the cash

constrained farmers to capitalize on the availability of irrigation and training in Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) technologies for on-the-ground productive and sustainable investments.

The components are therefore expected to result in the positive outcomes of job creation, better nutritional outcomes and increased economic opportunities for at least 50% of women and 35% of youth

under the age of 35 in the rural sector. Moreover 150 000 farm households, that is 750 000 people will benefit from the SADP-ІІ. Passing his remarks Kogimoto Naomasa,

a representative from the Japanese Embassy, said they as the government of Japan are excited to assist towards food security in Lesotho since the country

endured massive droughts. The event was graced with the presence of the Ministers of Water Hon. Samonyane Ntsekele and Agriculture and Food Security Hon. Mahala Molapo.

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