BBC News - Remote Lesotho's biker nurses

Mothers used to have to walk three hours to get their children vaccinated in rural Lesotho.

Now nurse Thabiso Phoka reaches them by motorbike but he still has to leave his bike at the top of the mountain and walk down the very steep hill into the village.

[Source: BBC News - Remote Lesotho's biker nurses]


Gulf Islands Driftwood - Literature raffle supports Lesotho

Book lovers should take note of "Lit Up!" — a community event that uses the power of the written word to educate youngsters in southern Africa.

Drawing on the richness of the Salt Spring literary scene, from its dozens of authors to 45 book clubs, Lit Up! is a fundraising event to pay school fees for needy and deserving students in Lesotho, southern Africa.

Local authors, including Arthur Black, Kathy Page , Ronald Wright and Brian Brett, have generously donated copies of their books to be used as prizes in this summer-long event. Visitors to the Saturday market can enter to win a shelf of over 40 books, including beautiful coffee table books by Robert Bateman, Jana Roerick's cookbook, a gardening book by Linda Gilkeson, Charles Kahn’s Gulf Islands hiking trails guide, volumes of poetry by George Siphos and Peter Levitt, and more.

[Source: Gulf Islands Driftwood - Literature raffle supports Lesotho]

Thousands of Jobs Hang On African Textile Trade Deal - Daniel Fisher - Full Disclosure - Forbes

One of the great things about Internet journalism is the dialogue it fosters among writers, readers and sources. At its best, the readers become sources and inform the writer with details he didn't know when he set fingers to keyboard.

After publishing our list of the World's Worst Economies — a feature that predictably generates nastygrams from officials of the named countries — I got this email from a Washington consultant who knows all about the trade woes afflicting bottom-of-the-list Madagascar. Some of them stem from the country's ejection from the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which devastated that island nation's once-growing clothing industry. AGOA is a free-trade deal that gives Americans access to cheaper clothes, but more importantly generates jobs in African countries. It's up for renewal, but as Nathaniel Adams notes below, so far it's suffered from "benign neglect." That’s bad news for the tens of thousands of African clothing workers, most of them women, who depend on exports to the U.S. to eat. Full disclosure: Adams works for the Whitaker Group, whose founder, Rosa Whitaker, helped design AGOA while she was at the State Dept. Whitaker represents Lesotho in the U.S. but no clothing importers.

[Continue there: Thousands of Jobs Hang On African Textile Trade Deal - Daniel Fisher - Full Disclosure - Forbes]

Firestone Diamonds Recovers High-Quality Stones from Liqhobong

"Firestone Diamonds announced the recovery of some high-quality diamonds out of its Liqhobong mine in Lesotho. The most notable rough stones recovered included a 33-carat and 8-carat diamond. Two color stones included a 9-carat fancy vivid yellow and a 1.70-carat pink diamond.

These diamonds will be offered during an August tender to be held in Gaborone, Botswana. Firestone expects the August sale to be "significantly larger" than the one held in June.

Tim Wilkes, Firestone Diamonds' chief executive, said, "We are very excited about the results of our first tests of the high grade K5 unit at the main pipe at Liqhobong. The recovery of high-quality diamonds, including our first fancy yellow and our first pink diamond, confirms that there is much upside to the value of the main pipe. With mining operations planned to commence at the K5 unit in the second half of 2011, these results augur well for future production and diamond values from Liqhobong."

The K5 unit is the highest grade of the four geological units in the main pipe, with an average resource grade of 45 carats per hundred tonnes (cpht), compared with the average resource grade of 28 cpht for the mining company’s K2 and K4 kimberlite units that have been mined to date in 2011.

Firestone Diamonds will hold its third diamond sale of 2011 during the final two weeks of August at its diamond sales office at Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone."

[Source: Firestone Diamonds Recovers High-Quality Stones from Liqhobong]


Vacancy: Anti-Corruption Specialist, Lesotho

Closing Date: Monday, 15 August 2011

The Bureau for Institutional Reform and Democracy (BiRD) is looking for an excellent Anti-corruption specialist for a long-term mission in Lesotho.

[Source: Vacancy: Anti-Corruption Specialist, Lesotho]

butha-buthe (butha-buthe)

Butha-Buthe is a northern district of Lesotho. It has an area of 1,767 km² and a population of about 130,500 (2007). Butha-Buthe is the capital of the district, which has only that one town. Butha-Buthe "is named for Butha-Buthe Mountain to the north of the town, which King Moshoeshoe I used as his a fortification and headquarters from 1821 to 1823, during his war with the Zulu king Shaka. [source]"

Travellers to the district may see the Subeng River dinosaur footprints and the Tšehlanyane Nature Reserve. "There are also mysterious caves used by the San (Bushmen) in the area near Qalo and Sekubu, and some more dinosaur footprints. [source]"

[More stuff...]

Jenkins alumni battle spread of HIV in Africa

LaRon E. Nelson's was 12 years old when he learned his estranged grandfather was dying.

"They didn't call it HIV," said Nelson, remembering family conversations about the grandfather he never knew.

"I remembered that people were getting this disease, like Rock Hudson and Magic Johnson. And how I understood it was that this guy, my grandfather, had also contracted this disease and was dying."

[Source: Jenkins alumni battle spread of HIV in Africa]