|Area||30,355sq km (11,720 sq miles)|
|Drowning rate||6.39 per 100,000|
Motlatsi Mokala joined the Emerging Leaders workshop at the World Conference on Drowning Conference 2015 from Lesotho. He returned home after the workshop with a plan to increase awareness of the Royal Lesotho Lifesaving Association (RLLA) by publicising their aims and activities in the media.
For you, what were the highlights of the workshop and conference?
One of the best things for me was understanding how useful building partnerships can be. Doing this alone is very hard, but if RLLA could work with students in the universities, the Police and the Army divers, then we can make a much bigger difference. The other thing that was really good was to see how important it is to get data on drowning so you understand the problem.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced with your project?
For my project, I wanted more people to know about lifesaving in Lesotho because then it will be easier to convince more people to work with us. So many people drown in Lesotho but nobody knows that we (RLLA) exist outside of Maseru. I wanted to change that so I wrote letters to all the radio and TV channels. The biggest challenge was that they were very slow to reply to these letters. In the first four months I only got one reply but I kept talking to them so they could not forget about us!
How is your project going now?
The project has been a big success! We had some journalists come to see one of our training sessions and we had reports on two different radio stations. Then we had a slot about our activities shown on national television. After that we had people calling us willing to help us and we had new members joining. Attendance at our activities has increased from 25 to 30 people coming to our activities to over 60 people.
The next step is to train more instructors so that we have enough people to teach at our activities when there are lots of people there. At the moment we are training 20 new instructors. After that I want to start to talk to the university and the Police and Army divers to see if we can set up new partnerships with them.