Letšeng – Addressing our community needs
At Letšeng, we have undertaken a number of initiatives to assist our PACs in a sustainable manner, focusing on healthcare, agricultural advancement and infrastructural expansion.
The majority of citizens in Lesotho engage in some form of subsistence farming. Farmers rely on their produce for income and to feed their families. In 2015, Letšeng, recognising the importance of agriculture, initiated the Butha-Buthe vegetable production project. Six greenhouses were constructed and 32 hectares of land were ploughed and planted in the Butha-Buthe community. Farmers were assisted in planting produce and were equipped with the skills and tools necessary for maintaining the project. They were trained in modern farming techniques and hydroponic watering was conducted for all the community farmers. Maintenance problems that arise are tended to by the community with the assistance of Letšeng. The greenhouses and fields have yielded quality produce throughout the year, although the drought experienced across southern Africa towards the end of 2015 presented a major challenge.
The Letšeng wool and mohair project, which was finalised in 2013, has continued to offer sustained benefit to our PACs. The project helps to develop the historical practice of wool and mohair production through the provision of state-of-the-art woolsheds and training. In 2015, we were able to realise the essential aim of the project by allowing it become completely self-sufficient, with community representatives accepting complete management responsibilities. We feel that the project exemplifies a sustainable social investment, and we have been proud to see it succeed in such a great way.
Making basic healthcare available to all is a major need within Lesotho. In order to assist in meeting this need, we initiated a community health workers training initiative. In 2015, we were able to train 260 community health workers, equipping them with the medical kits and the necessary skills to attend to minor health problems. This project was initiated after extensive consultation with our PACs, as well as with the Lesotho Ministry of Health, ensuring that our efforts are directed in the best possible manner to address the real needs of our stakeholders.
The Letšeng on-site clinic has also been involved in community outreach when needed. The remote location of the mine means that the mine is often the nearest, and best-equipped, medical centre for travellers and community members moving between Butha-Buthe and Mokhotlong. Our medical team acknowledges its duty to help out in any situation where they are needed, and they have been able to assist many travellers and locals in need.
Letšeng has initiated a number of other community projects in the course of the last three years, placing a particular emphasis on educational investment and infrastructural development. Letšeng offers annual tertiary educational scholarships related to the development of Lesotho natural resources. Through consultation with other relevant stakeholders, Letšeng determines areas of study and development for each subsequent year. This encourages development in areas experiencing a skills shortage and preferential employment and internship opportunities are given to students who have been successful in these fields.
Letšeng also offers internships to graduates, enabling them to gain valuable work experience and further their careers
Letšeng has been able to invest in the infrastructure of various communities surrounding the mine. This includes the construction of school classrooms, ablution amenities and meeting halls. In addition to this, a variety of communities have been provided with water production facilities and potable drinking water.
|Letšeng Diamond Mine, Butha-Buthe
|Letšeng Diamond Mine,
Ram Breeding Project.
|Letšeng Diamond Mine, Butha-Buthe
vegetable project manager
checking on tomato crop.