The United Nations Development Program has formally awarded a one year contract with Hillside Digital Trust to work with them in Lesotho. We previously provided Hillside with a grant in support of their Siyakhona project which trains young people in human rights filmmaking, journalism skills and community organising. Under their new partnership with UNDP, Hillside will be producing videos about UNDP projects within the country. The films will focus on a diverse range of topics, including climate change, decentralising government, economic development, gender equality and youth.
In other exciting news, a recent film made by Siyakhona participants on lack of access to water brough the issue to the attention of the Minister of Environment who has since put pressure on local authorities to step up to the plate and deliver much-needed solutions. WASCO (the local water authority) has promised to put in two water pumps shortly in the village where Siyakhona made their film. As a result, 100 families will soon have access to clean and safe drinking water. The Maseru City Council, meanwhile, has asked Siyakhona to join a national task force to investigate all urban slum areas with regard to the Millennium Development Goals and liaise between the authorities and the communities. The focus will be on water and sanitation, roads, land tenure and housing.