Social Impact

 

Community Support and Social Impact

  • Medigrow’s commitment to ongoing communication and consultation with the community, via three representative committees, is working very well.
  • The Company gets input from the community to help solve social, employment and land-use issues.
  • The community have a sense of participation and ownership and are invited to participate in the process of defining the vision and mission for the Company.
  • Through these communication forums the Company has been alerted to and has subsequently funded numerous community needs – from improving water supply and sanitation, waste management to planting fruit trees in the village.
 

Social Impact

Medigrow has created more than 250 permanent jobs, including 17 locally trained growers and full production, the direct employee headcount will exceed 3,000 people. In Lesotho's rural economy, one employed member of the family supports as many as ten people in the extended household.

Business Opportunities

Supporting a large staffing compliment in a remote, undeveloped part of the country offers up numerous business opportunities for entrepreneurs and service providers. These include, supplying vegetables and agricultural products, the provision of meals (Medigrow has committed to serving at least one meal per employee per day) housing transport, maintenance, education and training.

Survey

Medigrow commissioned a survey of the closest villages, to determine the social profile of the villages. This information is used as a baseline dataset for poverty alleviation strategies, prioritizing the developmental initiatives and assess the potential to recruit employees from the community. Having now employed all the available people who can speak English (a requirement for employment in most job categories), the Company has recruited three English teachers to give language lessons to the villagers to enable more residents to take up employment with the Company.

Housing

The project will have to employ people from outside the immediate area. These recruits will require accommodation in the local community. Medigrow has initiated a housing project to find accommodation for employees outside the immediate area. A master village development plan will be prepared, followed by facilitating existing residents to build good quality accommodation units on their premises.

The Company will approve rent deduction from employees who are accommodated on this basis and assist in the local resident developers securing mortgage finance for these accommodation units. Securing land leases and building good quality accommodation units the land owners are likely, for the first time, to experience economic emancipation and provide the potential to escape the clutches of poverty.

Health Services

The Company wishes to safeguard against the negative social and health consequences that an influx of people could have on the local community. Medigrow is in the process of recruiting a nurse to monitor this situation and provide community health services in the village. A qualified doctor will be recruited to provide services to Medigrow employees and other community members. The Company is sponsoring a student who is studying medicine with the University of Zimbabwe.

Safety and Security

The Company will, via the Phekoana Industry Association (“PIA”), help to capacitate the local police station to serve the needs of a growing community with increasing disposable incomes. In addition, the Company will support the PIA to support the police at national level with the provision of vehicles and equipment to be used by the Narcotics and Diamond Division of the Lesotho Mounted Police.

Telecommunications

The project’s communication needs exceeded the capacity of the local telecommunications infrastructure. In negotiating with service providers, the Company has insisted that infrastructure provision will be expanded to meet the community’s needs and provide free internet services to the two local schools.