- Civil society in Lesotho has welcomed reports of a possible indepth investigation into the country’s industrial poor waste management and alleged toxic dumping.
Environmentalists, civil society activists as well as the labour movement in the country has over the years tried but without much success, for the institution of a thorough investigation in the formation of blue rivers next to the main industrial sites.
There have even been allegations of people living along the blue streams developing certain defects or illnesses, which have however been dismissed.
Two of the world biggest vendors, buying clothing ‘Made in Lesotho’ have confirmed plans to institute an investigations into the allegations.
GAP and Levi Strauss have both raised serious concerns on the allegations saying investigations would be initiated with also a strict monitoring. Both companies have also reiterated their commitment to protecting and safeguarding the lives of the workers and communities around the operations that services their orders.
The industrial expansion in Lesotho, mainly run Taiwanese investors since the fall of the 1980’s has been surrounded by production controversies stretching from unfair labour practices, use of child labour and pollution.
Some of the challenges, especially of waste management, have also been attributed to the failure by the Lesotho government to secure and put in place a well managed dumping site, with the only one in the city, at Ts’osane nearing its closure.
Lesotho has done well under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, with almost 100 percent of its clothing and textiles produce, mainly Jeans, being exported to the United States.
The sector has also grown into the biggest employer for the Kingdom that is totally surrounded by one country, South Africa, with a peak employment of over 50,000 jobs.
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