As we embarked upon our journey to establish world class, legal cannabis growing and production facilities in Lesotho, our team was experienced enough to know that we would have to deal with a variety of challenges along the way, but that ultimately we would overcome all the obstacles put in our path.
In the short time since we started initial ground clearance works up until the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown in Lesotho in March 2020, our team & partners have achieved significant results with the support of the local community, in establishing and securing a fantastic 3 hectare site, creating a dam/reservoir, commencing initial construction and undertaking various community projects.
Despite the current lockdown, we are well on our way to establishing our Lesotho growing facilities and will complete this phase our project without delay as soon as the government of Lesotho confirms that works can recommence.
In this context, you will find below a brief construction diary which gives a flavour of our work to date. In addition, please refer to our project page to see photos and videos of the construction project.
Carl Esprey Hanno Bodenstein
CEO, EuroCan Botanical Oils (Pty) Limited
|Date||Work / Event|
|Tue, 29 Oct||Eurocan team meet landowners on site in Ha Khitione (en route to Ha Mofoka) to discuss Botanical Oils vision and future plans.|
|Tue, 05 Nov||Eurocan team meet with lawyers and landowners on site to explain and sign sub leases.|
|Wed, 06 Nov||Meeting with community members and Chief Khitione to thank her for opportunity, cooperation and assistance in allowing Eurocan to expand into Lesotho (through its local entity, Botanical Oils).|
|Thu, 07 Nov||Eurocan team meets with greenhouse and equipment suppliers, (Cyclone & Greenhouse Technologies), in Lesotho to discuss facility requirements and layouts.|
|Fri, 08 Nov||First excavator arrives on site and groundbreaking ceremony takes place at 19:10.|
|Sat, 09 Nov||First full day of civil work. |
Eurocan CEO and local directors of Botanical Oils place chalk lines to mark out site area for commencement of civil works.
|Sun, 10 Nov||Civil works continue. |
Ongoing search for bulldozer D6 or bigger as additional plant is required.
|Mon, 11 Nov||Civil works continue with removal of top soil.|
Discussions take place regarding perimeter fences.
Initial facility drawings prepared.
|Tue, 12 Nov|| Civil works continue.|
Borehole drilling company is on site to drill a borehole to depth of 120m; first water found at a depth of 44m.
Thunderstorms suspend drilling, to continue tomorrow.
|Wed, 13 Nov||Civil works continue.|
Borehole drilling resumes at 62m; second break found at 84m.
|Thu, 14 Nov||Heavy downpour today. |
Civil works continue.
Drawings for phase 1 & 2 of greenhouse placement and site layout revised.
|Fri, 15 Nov||Civil works continue.|
Borehole capacity test started.
|Sat, 16 Nov||Work stopped half day due to nearby funeral. |
Borehole capacity test still being conducted; initial indications show 1,000 L/ hour which will not be sufficient for growing operation.
Proposal made to drill second borehole +/- 500m from the site closer to river where there is a suspected fault line nearby.
|Sun, 17 Nov||No work due to adverse weather conditions.|
|Mon, 18 Nov||Civil works continue.|
Discussions take place regarding fencing options (palisade fencing with wire mesh as a second layer of security).
|Tue, 19 Nov||Civil works continue. |
Clay patch discovered at end of day, in area closest to main tar road.
|Wed, 20 Nov||Decision has been taken to remove small patches of clay. |
Meeting with community to discuss possible erection of dam wall by using excess clay; proposal well received by community.
|Thu, 21 Nov||Civil works continue.|
3 hectare pad starting to take shape.
Boundaries and layout clearly visible with aerial drone images.
Erection of dam wall begins.
|Fri, 22 Nov||All top soil removed from demarcated area.|
Starting with cut of the ”cut and fill” stage. Estimated 30 000 cubic meters to be moved to obtain required levels.
More clay found than what was anticipated; advised to remove all clay and back fill where needed.
|Sat, 23 Nov||Exploratory holes drilled to determine depth of clay.|
Excavation of entire clay area commences.
Civil works continue on rest of pad.
|Sun, 24 Nov||No work on site today due to heavy overnight rains. |
Preparations for meeting with Lesotho Electricity Company regarding provision of power to site and relocation of electrical poles.
|Mon, 25 Nov||Lesotho Electrical Company and Environmental Impact Study inspectors on site |
Minor amendments made to EIS after inspection.
|Tue, 26 Nov||Civil works continue.|
Meeting with local community council members.
|Wed, 27 Nov||Civil works continue.|
Dam wall increasing in height due to enormous amounts of clay taken from elsewhere on site.
Borehole drilling company return to drill second 120m hole.
|Thu, 28 Nov||Civil works continue.|
First water found at second borehole at a depth of 80m.
|Fri, 29 Nov||Civil works continues. |
LEC planning department on site regarding the relocation of electricity poles.
|Sat, 30 Nov||No work due to heavy rainfall|
|Sun, 1 Dec||No work due to heavy rainfall|
|Mon, 2 Dec||No work due to heavy rainfall|
|Tue, 3 Dec||Civil works continue with cutting and filling. |
Revised site drawings and facilities layout prepared.
|Wed, 4 Dec||Civil works continue. |
Dumping and filling area where clay has been removed.
|Thu, 5 Dec||Civil work continues. |
Local directors on site.
Rollers in use to compact.
|Fri, 6 Dec||Newly proposed double fence layout submitted. |
Soil compaction testing commences with engineering Lab.
|Sat, 7 Dec||Civil works continues. |
Work suspended half day due to rain.
|Sun, 8 Dec||Civil work continues.|
Borehole capacity tests on second hole.
|Mon, 9 Dec||Heavy rains overnight left site drenched. |
Trucks not able to drive on or off the site due to mud.
Excavators still able to work. LEC on site following up on application.
Heavy rains suspend work.
|Tue, 10 Dec||Continued rains almost doubled the size of the dam overnight. |
Only excavators are able to work (undertaking cutting), all other plant not working to avoid getting stuck.
Borehole capacity test results are received at 1,800 L/hour
|Wed, 11 Dec||Both borehole capacity tests completed; more capacity required. |
Pad still too wet to be fully operational.
|Thu, 12 Dec||Third borehole site identified and discussed with local chief (Chief Mahao).|
Surveyor places pegs for final levels.
Padfoot shells fitted to roller in order to break last bit of smaller rocks.
|Fri, 13 Dec||Civil works continue.|
Borehole drilling company arrive on site to drill final hole.
Additional excavator arrives in order to achieve targets on cut and fill schedule.
|Sat, 14 Dec||Pad still a wet but civil works continue.|
Borehole development completed today with PVC casing.
|Sun, 15 Dec||No work possible due to rains.|
|Mon, 16 Dec||Civil works continue.|
Cut and fill works continue.
Borehole 3 capacity test undertaken.
|Tue, 17 Dec||Engineers and inspectors on site to test soil compaction (99.8% compaction; 10.9% moisture content). |
Engineers and inspectors on site.
Borehole capacity test results completed, confirming sufficient daily water supplies.
|Wed, 18 Dec||Civil works continue despite heavy rains overnight.|
|Thu, 19 Dec||Civil works continue despite heavy rains overnight.|
|Fri, 20 Dec||Festive break commences; site closed down.|
|Thu, 9 Jan||Site drenched from continuous heavy rains. |
No plant able to get onto site.
|Fri, 10 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sat, 11 Jan||Attempts made throughout the day to commence with work on various areas of the site with heavy machinery, but this proves impossible. |
Dam is getting increasingly full, making an overflow a necessity.
Water tanker being used to empty water pools accumulating on pad.
LEC on site calculating distances for transformer and powerlines.
|Sun, 12 Jan||No work possible due to severe overnight thunderstorms. |
Additional and replacement equipment arrive on site.
|Mon, 13 Jan||No work possible due to rains leaving the site too wet to operate.|
|Tue, 14 Jan||Civil work continues.|
|Wed, 15 Jan||Civil work continues.|
|Thu, 16 Jan||Civil works continue. |
Diverting storm drain with new trench.
|Fri, 17 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sat, 18 Jan||Minimal work possible due to rains.|
|Sun, 19 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Mon, 20 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Tue, 21 Jan||Pad workable but large water puddles still visible due to continued rain over the weekend.|
|Wed, 22 Jan||Working on the dam wall continues. |
Digging trenches for borehole water pipes and armored electrical cables.
Surveyors on site to assist with dam overflow trench.
|Thu, 23 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Fri, 24 Jan||Continued heavy rains; based on forecast, site closed until 27 January.|
|Sat, 25 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sun, 26 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Mon, 27 Jan||Pad still wet, but excavators working on cut.|
|Tue, 28 Jan||Civil works resume. |
Construction of raised platform for water reservoirs commences.
Rock belt running across section of pad causing some delays.
|Wed, 29 Jan||No work possible due to rains.|
|Thu, 30 Jan||Engineers and inspectors on site. |
Surveyors on site.
Checking final levels of travel on the pad.
|Fri, 31 Jan||Civil works continue. |
Top soil layer placed on dam wall to prevent erosion.
|Sat, 1 Feb||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sun, 2 Feb||No work possible due to rains.|
Fencing arrives on site.
|Mon, 3 Feb||Rock belt preventing proper excavation in area closest to 45 degree cut. |
Area demarcated for greenhouses unaffected by rocks and almost complete.
Significant work being undertaken by rollers.
|Tue, 4 Feb||Cyclone on site to inspect site preparation before start of greenhouse erection (confirmation given to proceed). |
Holes being dug for fencing posts.
|Wed, 5 Feb||Civil works continue. |
Digging holes for fence posts.
|Thu, 6 Feb||Civil works continue.|
Planting of fence posts.
|Fri, 7 Feb||Work suspended at 14: 00 due to thunderstorms and heavy rains.|
|Sat, 8 Feb||Dam is at full capacity, overflow working effectively. |
Pad drainage gradient is working perfectly.
Grow medium arrives on site.
|Sun, 9 Feb||No work possible due to rains.|
|Mon, 10 Feb||No work possible due to rains.|
|Tue, 11 Feb||High winds but civil works continue. |
Grader on site.
|Wed, 12 Feb||Most of yellow plant removed. |
Grader, front loader & truck and roller finalizing levels.
|Thu, 13 Feb||All fence posts along the entrance from tar road to main gate cemented into position|
|Fri, 14 Feb||Fence posts planted on opposite side of the pad. |
Heavy rains eroding dam wall; more loads of top soil added to prevent erosion.
|Sat, 15 Feb||Last day of civil works on site. |
Last layers of top soil placed on dam wall and overflow trenched level with grader. 45 degree slope completed by grader.
TLB completed drainage trench all along the length of the pad.
Completed thoroughfare for community over diverted storm drain.
|Sun, 16 Feb||Community walkway completed to pass over borehole trench. |
Dam spillway increased to avoid overflow.
Remainder of fence being erected.
|Tue, 3 Mar||First container of greenhouse facility equipment received. |
Steel structures unloaded.
First borehole pump and control box installed.
|Wed, 4 Mar||Commence drilling holes to plant support structures for greenhouses.|
|Thu, 5 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Fri, 6 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sat, 7 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sun, 8 Mar||Although dry, no work possible due to site being too wet.|
|Mon, 9 Mar||Cyclone inspect support structure posts; all cleared to proceed. |
Greenhouse Technologies on site; discuss placement and layout of pump room.
First diamond mesh fence completed (starting with main security gate and barbwire add ons).
Finishing raised platform for water reservoirs.
|Tue, 10 Mar||Electrical contractors on site to plot transformer and pole placements. |
Transformer foundation completed.
All electrical poles connecting boreholes planted and concrete poured.
Closed all borehole trenches.
|Wed, 11 Mar||Layout for containers, pump room, offices, change rooms discussed. |
Main gate secured and operational.
|Thu, 12 Mar||Building layout has been approved and foundations chalked. |
Potential CCTV contractors on site.
Electrical contractors installing overhead electrical cable for boreholes.
Erecting palisade fences for borehole pumps and control boxes.
|Fri, 13 Mar||Finishing the borehole palisades. |
Arches for greenhouses being assembled.
|Sat, 14 Mar||Rock belt hindering digging of foundations for faclities.|
|Sun, 15 Mar||Greenhouse structure assembly continues.|
Painting of borehole palisades.
|Mon, 16 Mar||Greenhouse assembly continues.|
Final touches on fencing (barbed wire and razor mesh coils) installed.
|Tue, 17 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Wed, 18 Mar||Cement, crusher stone and river sand delivered for foundations.|
|Thu, 19 Mar||Rented jack hammer with compressor to break through rock belt; progress made but slow. |
Final overhead electrical cables have been connected to electrical poles.
Trenches dug and installed with armored cables to connect borehole pumps and control boxes with electrical mains.
|Fri, 20 Mar||Heavy rains overnight. |
Dam overflow working perfectly.
Greenhouse structures assembly continues.
|Sat, 21 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Sun, 22 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Mon, 23 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Tue, 24 Mar||No work possible due to rains.|
|Wed, 25 Mar||Continued use of jack hammer to break through the rock belt. |
Concrete being poured in completed areas of foundation.
Razor wire mesh added to complete the diamond mesh fencing.
|Thu, 26 Mar||Coronavirus “lockdown” begins in South Africa.|
All tools downed, staff sent home for safety and work suspended until after lockdown.
|Sun, 29 Mar||Coronavirus “lockdown” begins in Lesotho|