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Why Maseru had no running water



MASERU – SEVERAL areas in Maseru city had no running water after the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) cut power at the Metolong Day this week.
But the Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO), which runs the Metolong Dam, said the water shortages were caused by repairs of some pipes. The government however said this was due to a power cut at the reservoir.
Water Minister Kemiso Mosenene (Pictured) told thepost last night that the two state-owned companies had a quarrel over how much Wasco owed the LEC.
“Wasco  says it owes the LEC M26 million but the LEC insists that it is owed M38 million,” Mosenene said.
“It is true that we do not have water in some parts of the city because the LEC cut electricity at Metolong Dam,” he said.
“We are still in talks with the Energy Minister and leaders of the two companies.”
Mosenene, who rebuffed suggestions from some unspecified quarters that this was meant to sabotage his election campaign in his Mount Moorosi constituency, said he was worried that people in Maseru have been seriously inconvenienced.
He however said the power cut at the dam “could have been triggered by some party dirty politics”.
Starting from Tuesday, many places including Maseru West, Ha-Leqele, Ha-Thamae, and Borokhoaneng did not have running water.
Mosenene said after the electricity was cut Wasco “has been struggling to pump water to different places in the country using not so much efficient generators”.
The minister said negotiations with the LEC had not yet been finalised last night.
“This is the time for the general election and everyone wants to use all of their power where they can,” Mosenene said.
He also stressed that not only Metolong had been switched off but several supply tanks are not operating very well due to the power cut.
“We have been trying to use our generators so that we supply water to the people,” he said.
“The matter is more complicated as the LEC claims it is owed M38 million, but us as Wasco only know of a M26 million credit,” he said.
The minister said the parties are yet to sit down and reconcile the figures to find out the exact amount owed by Wasco.
The Metolong Dam provides water to two-thirds of the country’s population.
Before the opening of the dam, the country had been facing an acute water shortage.
He said their hope is for the matter to be resolved urgently.
The LEC declined to comment, specifically refusing to talk about matters concerning their customers as a matter of policy.
Nkheli Liphoto

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