The Siyakhona Media Studio is a not-for-profit community based project bringing together Basotho youth from varied and underprivileged backgrounds to be a voice for their communities, to enact social and behavioral change. The participants are trained in participatory human rights based video journalism and community activism. The Siyakhona Media Studio’s objective is to give a voice and a platform to those who are less often heard. Siyakhona focuses primarily on working together with marginalized communities in Lesotho to produce call to action films for their benefit.
Siyakhona found that lack of access to safe and clean drinking water in the view of those surveyed, is the biggest burning social issue poor and vulnerable Basotho are facing at present. Siyakhona began to research the water crisis to understand the root causes, build a bridge over the communication gap between the community and authorities and present a solution based on consultation with those affected, stakeholders and role-players. The result of their work is a short call to action film called “The Darkest Hour”, Lesotho’s Water Crisis.
The video is about a 62 year old Mosotho woman, ‘Mampolokeng, who is HIV positive, is unemployed and has five children and four grandchildren who are her dependents. They live in Ts’enola in Maseru. The film follows their daily routine over 24hrs to highlight their struggle to survive due to their lack of access to clean and safe drinking water. ‘Mampolokeng often has to wake up at 2am in the morning with her three grandchildren to fetch water from a contaminated well in the valley below their home. ‘Mampolokeng and her eight family members sometimes have to sleep with empty stomachs because they do not have water to cook with. She and her fellow villagers spend a large majority of their time waiting for water from a contaminated well. The film looks into the root causes of this crisis and tries to understand why there is a lack of progress in delivering this most basic of essential services.
Siyakhona in partnership with several NGOs, civil society groups and concerned citizens have produced a petition with the aim of collecting 10 000 signatures to present to government. The petition calls for the government to legally recognize water as a human right and to make access to clean and safe drinking water a national priority. To date Siyakhona has screened the film in 10 villages in and around Maseru and have collected a little over 2 000 signatures. we need your help in reaching 10 000.
Take a stand and help collect signatures! Click on the PDF image below to open or right-click to download a copy of the petition:
For more information contact:
Watch The Darkest Hour: