“UNCDF’s contribution to the achievement of the MDGs is vivid and visible hence the Lesotho LDP attracting a funding of Euro 11.5 m from the European Commission”. This was the Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCDF, Ms Christine Roth, at the commissioning of a water project implemented by the Lesotho Local Development Programme (LLDP) with technical support and funding provided by UNCDF and UNDP in the Berea District- Lesotho in September 2011.
She was accompanied on the field visit to the district by the Resident Representative Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa and the Deputy, Georges Van Montfort as well as the technical teams of UNCDF Regional office and UNDP Country office.
The $100,000 project, disbursed through the under-design Lesotho LDF, provides water for two communities with a population of 1,350 from a spring source. The environmental friendly technology taps water from the spring source and carried through pipes to a height of 180 meter and distributed through a reticulation system to respective residential compounds using gravity.
The excited chief of the village gleefully expressed that in her 84 years she never thought water would ever reach her house but the UN has proved her wrong. She continued “the women in this community used to walk 4km, descending from a height of 300 meters each morning and climb up with a 20 litre container of water at the back. Thanks again to the intervention this drudgery now belongs to the past”.
The Deputy Executive Secretary of UNCDF advised the community leaders and the districts officials to ensure that the operational and maintenance plans established for the facilities are adhered to for them to last longer to make the necessary impact and initiate a real change in their life-styles and livelihoods. Two similar projects had been completed in Thaba-Tseka and Maseru districts to test the inter-governmental fiscal transfer system and project management competence of the district councils.
In another development in Maseru Lesotho, the Deputy Executive Secretary conferred with the Minister for Local Government, Dr. Pontso M. Sekatle as well as representatives of the donor community including heads of delegations of EC, Netherlands, USAID and Irish Aid. She expressed the profound appreciation of UNCDF /UNDP to the Delegate of the European Commission in Lesotho for the confidence reposed in the LLDP, lifting it from a pilot level to a nation-wide fiscal decentralization programme with a handsome sponsorship of Euro11.5M through the One UN process. The Deepening Decentralization Programme, which starts in January 2010 as successor to the LLDP is specifically establishing a sustainable local development financing process in pursuance of improved service delivery and enhanced effort towards the achievement of the MDGs.