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Ambassador Sun Xianghua's Remarks at the Disaster-Relief Assistance Hand-over Event in Quthing
2018/03/26
 

Distinguished guests,

Friends from the media,

Ladies and gentlemen

 

It is with a very sad heart that we gather here today to reflect upon the tragedy that struck us last week. At the dark moment a few days ago, an unprecedented disaster of hailstorm hit Moorosi in the district of Quthing. Houses were damaged, schools were closed, cars were smashed, and people got hurt and even killed by the unusually severe storm. First of all, on behalf of the Embassy of China and the whole Chinese community in Lesotho, I would like to express our heart-felt condolences to the families that have lost their loved ones in this disaster, and our sincere sympathy and solicitude to the people who have been affected by the hailstorm in Quthing.

Bomme le Bontate, after the disaster occurred, the Chinese community in Quthing immediately informed us in Maseru about the severity of the hailstorm. At the same time, His Honorable Maseribane also called me urgently and sent me the tragic photos of the impact of the disaster. We immediately discussed and decided we must do something to help.  

In the days that followed, the horrific scenes of the damage caused by the hailstorm continued to circulate on the social media, as well as been reported by numerous newspapers and radio stations. The impacts of the disaster became increasingly clear to us. With the help from the Chief of the Moorosi, the District Administer of Quthing, as well as the facilitation of Hon. Minister Maseribane, the Chinese community in Quthing worked very hard to identify the potential beneficiaries of our relief assistance and come up with the proposals for action. I am very proud to learn that by pooling their resources together, the Chinese community in Quthing, the Commercial Chamber of Overseas Chinese in Lesotho, and the China-Lesotho People-to-People Friendship Action Fund have come up with a donation with a tune of M150,000. This assistance will be dispensed as follows.

Firstly, to help the 5 households that tragically lost their family members to overcome this difficult time of sorrow. Secondly, to support the 5 schools in Moorosi including a high school and 4 primary schools to repair their damaged classrooms. Thirdly, 15 taxi owners that have been identified will be help to repair their cars' smashed windscreens. Fourthly, for the worst hit 50 households to repair their houses, each of them will get financial and material assistance.
Bomme le Bontate, we have a saying in China that says, "Disasters have no mercy, but humans do. When disasters strike, help should come from all sides to assist." This way of thinking and belief has become an integral part of Chinese traditional values and philosophy. The Chinese community's sympathy and assistance to the community of Moorosi is a vivid embodiment of their brotherly feelings to the Basotho. I sincerely wish this humble assistance from the Chinese community will help our Basotho brothers and sisters tide over this challenging time. I also believe this gallant help in time of needs will become a telling example of the cordial relations between the Chinese and Basotho in many years to come.

Bomme le Bontate, it's a fact that no countries can be spared of national disasters. China herself has suffered a lot of national disasters too. When a disaster strikes, we know how it feels and how valuable the assistance from friends can be. For this reason, we have been actively responding to Africa's call for disaster relief efforts. I recall since 2015, Lesotho has suffered from a severe drought and its impact still exists even today. In the past years, China has been providing large amount of food aid to Lesotho. For the financial year of 2017, the Government of China has earmarked RMB20 million worth of food aid to Lesotho. The first batch of 1000 metric tons has been handed over to Lesotho through Hon. Foreign Minister Lesego Makgothe in November last year, and the second batch of 1400 tons has arrived recently. In a few days time, the Chinese Embassy will hand over the food to Lesotho Government. And I will work with the Disaster Management Authority of Lesotho to make sure some of the food aid will come to Moorosi.

Distinguished guests, I know we all agree that to fight natural disasters effectively, we must have a robust economy and enough resources. As a long time and major development partner of Lesotho, China will continue to work tirelessly with Lesotho and Basotho in deepening our comprehensive cooperation, and do whatever we can to help Lesotho's social and economic development. In this regard, I wish to call on all of us to work together, and contribute to the friendship and cooperation between our two countries and peoples.

Last but not least, I wish to use this opportunity to thank Hon. Maseribane, the Principle Chief of Quthing and DA, as well as all Basotho friends who have facilitated in our relief action. I also want to express my appreciation to the Chinese Community in Quthing, the Commercial Chamber of Overseas Chinese in Lesotho and the China-Lesotho People-to-People Friendship Action Fund for their contribution. Let's give them a big round of applause for their efforts.

 

Thank you all.

Khotso, pula, nala!

 

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