The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Chief Thesele Maseribane says the Office of the Prime Minister has officially declared Ha Makoanyane accident as a disaster.
This accident claimed 15 lives of the passengers when a minibus overturned at Ha Makoanyane in Matelile on Monday last week. Nine of the deceased including a five-year old girl died at the scene, four died while rushed to hospital and 2 at Scott Hospital in Morija and Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital in Maseru respectively.
Addressing the bereaved families, victims of the accident including members of the community at a public gathering held at Ribaneng, Maphongoane on Monday, Chief Maseribane said the government of Lesotho will assist the bereaved families with uniform coffins, transport and food for public during state funeral service to be held on Friday, however saying families have the liberty to choose dates to bury their loved ones as well as to perform their rituals.
He added that those who joined funeral schemes will top up their coffins as they will also be provided with the same assistance, saying the Government of Lesotho is eager to work cooperatively with all the bereaved families to ensure respectful burial of the deceased.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Social Development, Mrs. ‘Matebatso Doti said they are currently visiting the bereaved families to conduct needs assessment as they know that some of the deceased have left children who are still attending school.
She said after the burial of the deceased, her ministry will revisit all the affected families so to carry out the assessment, which she said is expected to reveal the actual needs of the victims rather than making estimates.
On the other hand, the Principal Chief of Matelile, Chief Moholobela Seeiso remarked that the area has been covered with a dark cloud, saying the incident is not only a great loss to the bereaved families but to the whole country including area chiefs.
He expressed concern that mostly, people living in this area (Ribaneng) lose their lives due to incidents of this nature and use of illegal fire arms.
In conclusion, Chief Moholobela Seeiso thank the Lesotho Government for visiting the bereaved families as well as the support it showed during this hard time.
The Member of Parliament for ‘Maliepetsana Constituency, Mr. Mpalipali Molefe said he found it imperative to invite the government during this hard situation so that they sympathize together with the community.
He said they have come to make preparations with the bereaved families to ensure respectful burial of the deceased, hence appealed for cooperation of all the involved families.
Present at the gathering included cabinet ministers, senior government officials, members of Parliament, chiefs and communities in the area.