This Emergency Appeal seeks a total of 664,073 Swiss francs to enable the IFRC to support the Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) to respond to the food security needs of 4,500 affected beneficiaries1 with a focus on food distributions, cash transfer, health and hygiene promotion, and livelihoods and related training activities, and the distribution of seeds and tools. The planned response reflects the current situation and available information at this point of the evolving operation, and will be adjusted based on new developments and more detailed assessments.
Summary of WFP Assistance
Country Programme (CP 200369)
Starting in January 2013, WFP has been implementing a five year Country Programme, comprising of three components, namely Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) and Nutrition and HIV. Together, through all components WFP reached 113,333 people in 2015.
Following extremely poor rains during the first half of the rainfall season, the Lesotho Government has declared a drought emergency and has established an Inter-Ministerial Task Force to oversee the response.
The Government of Lesotho has developed a National Response Plan to address the situation and has issued an Appeal Document.
Islamic Relief is distributing food in Lesotho, in Southern Africa, where 650,000 people face hunger caused by widespread drought.
In December, the Government of Lesotho declared a state of emergency and appealed for help from the international community.
Reduced agriculture labor opportunities due to a delayed start of the rainy season
The Seasonal Climate Watch from the South African Weather Service is calling for a continuation of the strong El Niño event with enhanced probabilities of below-normal rainfall and continued dry conditions. This is likely to contribute to a second consecutive below normal 2015/16 seasonal production and worsening of food security conditions during the next consumption year.
By Tsitsi Matope
WFP plans to strengthen colloboration with the government and partners as more than 650,000 people face hunger in Lesotho's worst drought in decades. Struggling from two successive crop failures, the mountain kingdom has been pushed into a state of crisis by the El Niño weather phenomenon which has brought reduced rainfall to much of southern Africa.
By Priyali Sur/Contributor — December 11, 2015
Maseru, Lesotho—“That’s how African men are,” the woman said. She and two others laughed aloud at the infidelity of their husbands. Their hearty, free-spirited laughter resonated in the hotel lobby, attracting disapproving stares from the men in business suits who occupied most of the other coffee tables.
Erratic start of season results in reduced labor opportunities for households in Lesotho
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: