Remarks by Ambassador Lisa Peterson: Commissioning of Borehole Project at Ekuphileni KwaSesitjeni Skills Centre

Her Royal Highness, the Inkhosikati,
Honorable Minister of Education and Training
Honorable Member of Parliament,
The Regional Education Officer and staff members,
The Constituency Council,
The School Committee,
Parents and students,

Siyanivusela Bekunene!

I am pleased to join you today for the handover ceremony of the borehole project at Ekuphileni KwaSesitjeni Skills Centre. This borehole has the potential to nourish an entire community by providing access to water.

Kwekucala (first of all), on behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I would like to congratulate everyone who has taken part in this project to ensure its success. We can officially call it “sibonakaliso sekubambisana” (an example of cooperation) from the teachers, students and parents.

You have proven that kutsi kubambisana kuletsa imphumelelo (that success is a result of working together). Ngiyanibongela Bekunene (I am happy for you). And you deserve a round of applause for your hard work!

This project has been funded through the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help Program, which is specifically designed by the U.S. government to assist community groups like yours in developing projects that will improve their living conditions and enhance their self-reliance. With funding of roughly 68,000 Emalangeni, your community members can now access clean water, which is a basic need for all living things.

Eswatini’s drought, from which we are still recovering, crippled the water supply system and agricultural production. These effects will be felt for many months, and even years, to come. With a fully functioning borehole, Ekuphileni KwaSesitjeni Skills Centre now has running water and can introduce sustainable vegetable and livestock projects.  Through these projects, community members will acquire different agricultural skills, resulting in an increase in agricultural productivity at community level. This can change the livelihood of most families and enhance project undertaking on a commercial basis. Additionally, the 405 students and teachers of Esitjeni Primary School no longer have to wait for months to get water; now, a short walk behind the school allows everyone access to fresh, clean water.

One of the primary goals of the Special Self-Help Program is to allow community members to contribute towards their own development. The contribution is not necessarily in monetary terms – it could be labor or even material. So I want to thank everyone from Ekuphileni KwaSesitjeni Skills Centre that contributed unskilled labor, cement, tanks and tank stands for this project.

Each year, more than 100 countries celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th to bring awareness to conservation efforts and to remind us that small steps, taken by individuals and groups, will ensure our planet thrives for generations to come. Capetonians know all-too-well about water scarcity – and as a result of their water crisis, they are more committed than ever to conserving their precious resource. Here in Eswatini, think about ways you can do the same.  Whether it’s repairing leaky taps, shortening your daily bath, or reusing leftover water while you cook, all of these steps can make a big impact in ensuring that we continue to have this essential natural resource for life.  Emanti Ayimphilo. Asiwonge. (Water is our source. Let us conserve it).

Ngiyabonga Kakhulu (Thank you very much).