#Top5atFive: Here’s what’s happening in Lesotho and around the globe

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From new fuel prices to environmental disasters in Mauritius to Jay Z’s new tertiary institute, here’s a few stories you might’ve missed over the weekend.

1. Local headlines

Local mining company Letšeng Diamonds has contributed to the Covid-19 relief by donating personal protective equipment, prefab containers that are now used as testing laboratories, and training 483 households on Covid-19. 

The public relations officer of Letšeng Diamonds mine Lebohang Chefa says this is part of the mine’s corporate social responsibility initiative and is supported with the mine’s annual dividends. Chefa said the mine board and the government last year came to an agreement that the one percent drawn from its dividends should be increased and some of that money be used to assist in Covid-19 related projects.

He indicated that they had already planned to contribute towards helping with Covid-19 related issues, but were approached with the need for testing labs and they delivered. He added that they also took it upon themselves to teach the communities around Letṧeng about Covid-19 and help provide them with PPE.

“Since Mokhotlong is one of the districts with porous and illegal entry points, we saw it fit to teach the people there about Covid-19. This was done with the help of the ministry of health in Mokhotlong, to ensure that people know all they need to know about the pandemic.

[Letšeng leading fight against Covid-19, The Reporter]

2. Local headlines

There is relief for motorists following the decrease in fuel prices as published by the Petroleum Fund Secretariat last Thursday. Petrol 93 is set to decrease by 20 lisente per litre, petrol 95 will decrease by 25 lisente per litre and diesel 50 will see an increase of 5 lisente per litre.However, the price of illuminating paraffin will not be adjusted. 

The adjusted fuel prices stand as follows: Petrol 93 M11.20 per litre, Petrol 95 M11.35 per litre, Diesel 50 M12.00 per litre and illuminating paraffin M6.85 per litre.

“The Petroleum Fund wishes to appeal to all retailers to charge proper prices because it is illegal to charge prices that are different from the gazetted ones,” reads the fund statement in pertinent part.

It further warns retailers who will not abide by these newly adjusted prices will have legal action taken against them. The month of April witnessed arguably sharp decrease of fuel prices with the decrease between M2.05 to M3.00 per litre across the board. They had increased considerably in June and July.

[Fuel prices drop, Informative News]

3. Global headlines

Authorities are racing against the clock to secure a stranded tanker carrying 4,000 tons of oil leaking fuel into waters near a tropical Indian Ocean island. The 300-meter MV Wakashio ran aground off the coast of Mauritius on July 25, and in the weeks since cracks have emerged in the hull after strong winds battered the ship.

“Due to the bad weather and constant pounding over the past few days, the starboard side bunker tank of the vessel has been breached and an amount of fuel oil has escaped into the sea,” The Nagashiki Shipping Co, who operate the vessel, said in a statement published Friday.

The ship’s location has troubled the environmental community. The stricken vessel is located off the Pointe d’Esny, which, according to the Guardian, is an official wetland of international importance identified under the UNESCO Ramsar Convention. Mauritius is famous for its coral reefs and abundant marine wildlife. Local wildlife groups fear that the oil slick will trap seabirds and waders.

Mauritius asked France to send help and, on Saturday, a team of recovery experts were dispatched from the nearby French overseas department of Réunion, Agence France Presse reported.

[Mauritius disaster: It’s a race against time to fix a tanker that is leaking 4,000 tons of oil, Business Insider]

4. In lifestyle

Rapper Jay-Z has teamed up with Brooklyn’s Long Island University to launch the Roc Nation School of Music, Sport and Entertainment. Students will be able to obtain undergraduate degrees in music, music technology, entrepreneurship and production, and sports management, according to a statement on the Roc Nation website.

“We look forward to joining with Roc Nation to offer an unprecedented educational resource that opens up the entertainment and sports world to a new and eager generation,” Long Island University’s president, Dr Kimberly Cline, was quoted saying.

Prospective students “will engage with university professors, alongside visiting guest artists and lecturers, while participating in immersive internships, ensuring they graduate with both hands-on experience and a network of professional contacts,” the statement further revealed.

The school will start enrolling students for their fall (autumn) 2021 semester, with 25 percent of first-years benefitting from the Roc Nation Hope Scholarship, allowing them to complete their studies without accumulating student debt.

Aside from their academic programme, the school will also offer summer camps for aspiring students and year-round Saturday programmes in music and sports management for those aged between 10 and 18.

[Jay-Z’s Roc Nation launches tertiary institute – here are the degrees on offer, News24]

5. What we’re reading

In this short article, Kris Gage argues that just like loving someone else isn’t just about saying “ I love you,” self-love isn’t about affirmations. Gage looks at how the culture of self-love has changed over the years, making the concept much more hollow than it really is. 

[Self-love isn’t about affirmations, Medium]

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Matlhabeli Molaoli
Matlhabeli is a reader, an Afro-feminist and a firm believer in the power of human-centered design to create lasting social-economic impact. She is a rising junior at Smith College where she majors in both Biochemistry and Anthropology and also dabbles in venture consulting for the local start-up ecosystem. Matlhabeli also enjoys dialogue so she has spent much of her time attending, speaking at and organising TEDx conferences in both Lesotho and South Africa during her time as a student at the African Leadership Academy.