In the prevailing context of climate change and declining food security in Lesotho, the need to raise children, parents and communities’ awareness on Climate Smart Agriculture technocologies including Conservation Agriculture (CA) and improved Home Gardening and Nutrition is essential.
One of Lesotho’s strategies to boost its agricultural growth is to encourage youth participation in agriculture along with promoting CA. CA entails minimum soil disturbance, soil cover at all times and intercropping or crop rotation. This protects the soil and increases its fertility.
Manthabeleng Ramotsekhoane is 65 years old and looks after her family of eight: six grandchildren aged 17 to four years, and two of her adult children. The family lives in Thabang village in Mokhotlong—one of the most rural areas in Lesotho.
Overview 2014/15 Livestock
The livestock census indicates 8% National increase in sheep and goats though there is a significant decrease in Qacha’s Nek mainly due to livestock theft and diseases followed by Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek ,Thaba Tseka and Maseru.
Cattle herd size has declined by 7% in Qacha’s Nek, Thaba Tseka, Mokhotlong followed by a marginal increase in Berea compared to reference year.
Increase in livestock price ranging from 15 – 86% for cattle and 15 – 60% for shoats and an increase in both prices and quantity of wool and mohair
Summary of WFP Assistance: In this quarter, WFP reached 116,967 people under the Country Programme (CP) components of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), and Nutrition and Health. Through the School Meals Programme 250,000 primary school students received two meals per day.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Lesotho recently conducted training sessions on climate-smart agriculture technologies including conservation agriculture, home gardening and nutrition. The training was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Ministry of Education and Training through the leadership of the National Curriculum Development Centre.
A total of 120 Senior Education Officers and resource teachers from all districts of the country participated in this series of training.
Depleted stocks, below-average remittances and labor to lead to Stressed outcomes
Forecasts for the ongoing El Nino to persist through February, and associated impacts on rainfall in Lesotho suggest average to below-average rainfall is likely during much of the agricultural season. This is likely to affect agricultural activities and reduce labor income during the peak of the lean season.
Poor start of agriculture season possible due to forecast normal to below normal rains
Following below-average harvests, most poor households have exhausted own-produced foods and are now reliant on market purchases for staple foods. Staple food prices will continue to gradually increase as the lean season approaches, which will begin to reduce purchasing power for poor, market-dependent households.
Localized Stressed food insecurity to persist with the start of the lean season
Depletion of own stocks, limited income opportunities and increases in staple food prices will likely result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes in localized areas. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected in most of Lesotho through December.
Summary of WFP Assistance:
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity likely in select districts
The SADC Double Troika decided to establish a commission of enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Lt. General Maaparankoe Mahao while agreeing to second two pathologists from South Africa to assist with the post-mortem process. Meanwhile, a team of investigators from Zimbabwe and Namibia would be made available to assist with investigation related to the death of Lt. General Mahao.
IN FOCUS: Angola INFORM Index Risk Profile
Lesotho has experienced a range of climate change shocks ranging from increasingly frequent droughts to unpredictable and heavy rainfall, resulting in an increased rate of soil erosion, desertification and reduced soil fertility which negatively affects agricultural production.
Food stocks from own production, food in exchange with labor, market purchases, and safety nets ensuring basic food and non-food access, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes between June and July, while declining purchasing power will result in localized Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes between August to September.
The international community has condemned the killing of the former commander of the Lesotho Defense Force by the military on 25 June. The killing follows the alleged arrest, detention and torture of dozens of soldiers purportedly suspected of plotting against authorities.
26 June 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru.
“The Secretary-General expresses his condolences to the bereaved family and urges the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice,” said a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.
After the support they were receiving from WFP ended in November 2013, the farmers of Ha-Mohapi village defied the odds and worked to produce a flourishing fruit tree plantation. The proud farmers are today the envy of passers-by who stop to see how the trees have transformed a once barren area.
Farmers supported by WFP defy odds
By Tsitsi Matope
A three-acre plot of fruit trees is flourishing on a remote hillside of Ra-Mohapi Village in Mafeteng District, south of the capital, Maseru.
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes likely due to poor production and low purchasing power
Own stocks from the recent harvest, stable food prices and ongoing safety nets will maintain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity outcomes between May and July. However, increases in food prices, declining incomes, and the end of some safety-net programs will result in the deterioration of food insecurity outcomes for poor households to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between August and September.
Anticipated below-average harvest and rise in food prices to impact food access for 2015/16
The start of main harvests, relative stable food prices supplemented by ongoing safety-net programmes will maintain sufficient food access for most households, resulting in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity outcomes between April to June 2015.
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.