WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2015 – Peace Corps volunteer Evan Brown of Eads, Tennessee, is building a health club in Lesotho to give his community a safe place to exercise and learn about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. The new club will provide nearly 7,000 community members with access to programs that combine exercise and health education in a country where more than 22 percent of the population is living with HIV/AIDS, according to UNAIDS.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mission to the Kingdom of Lesotho (SOMILES) has closed down following successful elections in the Kingdom held on 28th February, 2015.
The SADC Double Troika Summit plus Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania which was held in Pretoria, South Africa on 15th September, 2014 decided to deploy the SOMILES in order to address the political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Lesotho Emergency and Resilience Programme (ERP), implemented by FAO and the Government of Lesotho since 2012, has been retained as Finalist in the “Expo Milano 2015 Call for Best Sustainable Development Practices (BSDP)”. The BSDP is a competition organised by the Universal Exposition taking place in Milan (Italy) from 1st of May to 31st of October 2015 having as a theme “Feeding the planet, energy for life”.
Recently, farmers in Lesotho have been consistently obtaining low yields from their staple crops. This has affected food production as well as considerably reducing incomes.
There can be no doubting Lesotho’s commitment to education. In 2000, the country began making primary education free; a decade later, in 2010, it became compulsory. Now the country is trialling a startup that sends homework to pupils via mobile phone.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Planting of 2015 cereal crops is well underway with belownormal rains at the start causing some delays
2014 cereal output was estimated at an average level
Maize prices decrease in capital Maseru, reflecting lower prices in South Africa (main supplier of imports)
Number of food insecure estimated to have increased in 2014/15
Below-normal rains at the start of 2014/15 cropping season
By Tsitsi Matope
Lesotho is putting into practice an old saying: “it takes a village to raise a child”, as it refashions its national school feeding programme to become more inclusive of the local agricultural sector. Lesotho recognizes it will take a community to feed a child, and to also create a sustainable, home-grown feeding programme that benefits both children and smallholder farmers.
By Tsitsi Matope
Maseru, Lesotho—The World Food Programme (WFP) currently feeds 200,000 students in Lesotho. Through a recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the government, WFP will implement the national school feeding programme and build the government’s capacity to take over the programme in 2018. As WFP prepares to scale up its activities to reach 400,000 students, staff members are consulting those most affected by the change—the students themselves.
For many years the farming community of Ha-Sankoe in Rothe communal area has struggled to cope with extreme weather shocks that have left many families destitute. They have toiled in barren fields but ended up harvesting little. Despite years of food insecurity, this year the heavens smiled on Ha-Sankoe after the World Food Programme (WFP) introduced a Food-for-Assets scheme. Thanks to a US$ 1 million contribution from the Government of Russia, 80 villagers from Rothe have been able to rehabilitate their eroded land.
UNFPA Regional Director calls for support to reduce maternal deaths, HIV, teen pregnancy
Lesotho’s high maternal mortality rate of 1155 per 100,000 live births and high HIV infection rates are cause for concern, said Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, during an official three-day visit to Lesotho this week.
The Regional Director met Lesotho’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohlabi Tsekoa, for a discussion and toured the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) clinic.
In the community councils of Litjotjela and Maloaneng, Leribe District in Lesotho, Mrs Masekhametsi Hlomoka and Mrs Sesinyi Ramatekoa are beneficiaries of a pilot initiative complementing Social Protection cash grants with home gardening in-kind support helping families to improve their food intake and nutrition.
Improving nutrition and reducing stunting in children - low growth for age - is not easy. Part of the trick is getting people to understand what difference a healthy diet can make for them and their youngsters.
Semonkong - That a man can enjoy eggs while his wife and daughters endure a poor diet is commonplace is some parts of Lesotho.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will return to Maseru, Lesotho, to pursue a regional mandate to help restore peace, stability and democracy to the country, his office said on Sunday.
09/21/2014 02:39 GMT
by Michael J. JORDAN
MASERU, September 21, 2014 (AFP) - A police officer killed in Lesotho's August 30 abortive coup was laid to rest Saturday.
The death of Lesotho police sub-inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko was the first and so far only fatality in the tiny African nation's three-week crisis.
For the mountain kingdom, dealing with his killers has become a question of war and peace.
Working a night-shift, Ramahloko was guarding the force's armoury when he heard soldiers burst in and bark their demands.
During the month of June 2014, up to 106 farmers practicing Conservation Agriculture (CA) had the opportunity to exchange views, experiences and ideas with other farmers during their visit to two communities outstanding in the practice of CA in Tale and Mahobong Resource Centres in Lesotho.
09/15/2014 19:01 GMT
by Stephanie Findlay with Michael J. Jordan in Maseru
PRETORIA, September 15, 2014 (AFP) - South Africa hosted an emergency meeting of regional leaders to negotiate a peace deal for Lesotho on Monday, following an attempted coup and stalled peace talks between deadlocked political parties.
09/12/2014 16:33 GMT
by Michael J. Jordan
MASERU, September 12, 2014 (AFP) - Lesotho's deadlocked political parties failed to meet a Friday deadline for a fresh peace deal, prompting South Africa to call an emergency meeting of regional leaders.
After promising South African President Jacob Zuma that they would decide by Friday when to re-open Lesotho's parliament, rival leaders failed to resolve a crisis sparked two weeks ago by an aborted coup.
A top official from South Africa sees for himself the impact of his country's donation on hunger relief in Lesotho and, in particular, the big difference it has been making for school children.
There was great excitement at Masapong Primary School in early September when it received a visit from South Africa’s Director General of International Relations and Cooperation, Ambassador Jerry Matjila. He was in Lesotho to review the impact of his country’s US $20 million donation to WFP’s school meals and nutrition programmes in the Mountain Kingdom.
09/10/2014 00:06 GMT
by Michael J. Jordan
MASERU, September 10, 2014 (AFP) - Rival Lesotho leaders vowed to resolve an 11-day crisis that has spurred calls for regional military intervention in the tiny African nation, after South Africa brokered talks on Tuesday.
The sparring factions agreed to hold further negotiations and present a concrete date for reopening Lesotho's parliament to South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Friday.
09/08/2014 14:28 GMT
by Tholoana Makoro
MASERU, September 8, 2014 (AFP) - Lesotho's prime minister told AFP on Monday that he would not reopen parliament, calling into question a South African-brokered peace deal which allowed him to return to the mountain kingdom after an attempted coup.
South African President Jacob Zuma will now travel to Maseru on Tuesday to try rescue the deal agreed just a week ago, diplomatic sources in Lesotho and South Africa said.