FINGAL COUNTY Council is to formally link up with Action Ireland Trust which will carries out out important development work in Lesotho and includes the participation of students a local secondary school.
Mayor of Fingal, Cian O'Callaghan, and Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello launched the local authority's participation in the project next year. Also in attendance was His Excellency, Mr Paramente Phamotse who is Lesotho's Ambassador to Ireland. The initiative which has been running for eight years has benefitted from participation of Transition Year students studying in Portmarnock Community School.
The visit to Lesotho will take place next February when the project team will travel to the mountainous region of South Africa. The group consists of over 80 volunteers, 35 of whom are students from Portmarnock. Amongst the volunteers will be medical staff, including doctors, nurses and a dentist.
The overall objective of the project is to support the development of social infrastructure in Lesotho by participating in the construction of educational and health facilities. 2013 will be the first time Fingal County Council has participated in the Lesotho project with Action Ireland Trust. Council official Stephen Peppard said: 'We were approached by members of Action Ireland Trust asking if the council would like to get involved in the Lesotho project in the latter part of 2011.
'We looked at ways in which we might participate and decided that from a Local Authority point of view, it would be appropriate to link up with other Local Authorities in Lesotho to see if we could give any support at that level. ' To that end we chose three professional planners with expertise in a variety of areas such as spatial planning, GIS mapping and transport planning to travel with the project team. 'We put a proposal to the local government representatives in Lesotho earlier this year which was primarily offering to send people there who would bring value by working on Development and Area Plans with planners in Lesotho.
The representatives in Lesotho submitted a brief to us so it is our intention to deliver on that when our people travel to Africa in February next year.'