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.
Following the recent political and security developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho, His Excellency Jacob G. Zuma, the President of the Republic of South Africa and Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met the delegation of the Coalition Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho consisting of the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Thomas Motswahae Thabane, the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Mothetjoa Metsing and Hon. Morena T J Maseribane, Minister of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation on 1 September 2014 in Pretoria, South Africa. The SADC Executive Secretary, Dr.
09/02/2014 06:19 GMT
by Andrew BEATTY
MASERU, September 2, 2014 (AFP) - Gunfire and power cuts rekindled tensions in Lesotho's capital Maseru overnight, as the mountain nation awaited the possible return of its exiled prime minister following an apparent coup.
An aide to Tom Thabane told AFP the 75-year-old could return to the country Tuesday, after regional mediators brokered a road map to ease the country's political crisis.
"We are going home now, most probably we will be in Lesotho tomorrow," Samonyane Ntsekele said.
31 August 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern on Sunday about the reported military takeover in the southern African nation of Lesotho, and called on all parties to resolve their differences peacefully.
“He calls for respect for the constitutional order and democratic rule,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson.
“He urges all parties to refrain from violence and work together towards a peaceful and lasting resolution of their differences.”
The AU expresses full support to SADC efforts to address the crisis
Addis Ababa, 30 August 2014: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU),
Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, is following with deep concern the ongoing developments in the Kingdom of Lesotho and the deteriorating political situation in the country.
08/31/2014 11:44 GMT
by Andrew BEATTY
MASERU, August 31, 2014 (AFP) - The attempted assassination of a top military commander plunged Lesotho into further turmoil Sunday, following an apparent coup that forced the prime minister to flee to neighbouring South Africa.
Gunmen attacked the Maseru home of Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao, district police commissioner Mofokeng Kolo confirmed, deepening a seeming battle for control of the military.
In response to the 2012 food insecurity crisis in Lesotho, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS) designed a three-year cycle programme to assist 18 500 households with agricultural inputs and know-how on agricultural technologies helping communities to adapt to climate change, building their resilience to better withstand future shocks.