January 2018 marked the commencement of the Transitional Interim Country Strategic Plan (T-ICSP).
During January, WFP delivered food commodities for the first quarter of the year to 913 primary schools.
Verification of children for the Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme in Mokhotlong and Thaba-Tseka took place in January.
Resilience building activities in Mohale’s Hoek and Quthing continued; 1,613 people participated and will receive a cash incentive at the beginning of February.
The African Union Commission (AUC) and SADC Secretariat conducted a Joint Technical Assessment Mission of SADC Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL) from 05 to 09 February 2018. Team was led by Mr. Simon Baza from the Secretariat of the AU Peace and Security Council. This mission was conducted pursuant to the decision of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) that was adopted at its 748th Meeting held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24 January 2018.
USAID/PEPFAR food support for 36,500 people receiving antiretroviral therapy or treatment for tuberculosis and orphans and vulnerable children in Leribe, Berea, Maseru, Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek continued in September.
Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme supported by Japan assisted 11,166 children aged 06-23 months in Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka, and Mohale’s Hoek with super cereal plus.
WFP participated in the United Nations Country Team retreat aimed to discuss how to prioritize SDGs in Lesotho context.
Below normal cumulative rainfall is expected to impact 2017/18 crop yields
Since the start of the 2017/18 season rainfall performance has been performing poorly. To date, cumulative rainfall across most of the country is estimated to be 10-50 percent below normal. These moisture deficits are likely to have negative impacts on crop development and crop yields for the 2018 harvest.
With support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), UNICEF provided safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene messages to 23,563 drought-affected people in five districts. Since the start of the DFID-funded programme in July 2016 and up to December 2017, a total of 131,267 people (51 per cent female) gained access to WASH services in 45 communities, 34 primary schools and 4 health centres in 5 districts (Berea, Mafeteng,
Thaba Tseka, Quthing and Botha Bothe).
HABA TSEKA, Lesotho – “Before, I never used a condom, and I would force myself violently onto girls and young women,” said Kabelo*, 22, in rural Lesotho. A herder in Haba Tseka, he grew up in an area where violence is considered a normal, masculine trait.
Thapeli*, 21, grew up with similar views. He never attended school, and instead spent his time herding sheep, goats and cattle in the mountains.
He also says he used to abuse girls, intercepting them on their way home from school, even forcing them to have sex.
This Lesotho case study report (policy brief here) draws on fieldwork in October 2016, which looked at the extent to which social protection interventions and systems formed part of the response by the government and its partners to the El-Niño-induced drought and food insecurity of 2015-16. We also consider the potential for using these programmes and systems to address future shocks and provide a set of policy and operational recommendations.
To improve the food and nutrition security of vulnerable households, while protecting and restoring agriculture-based livelihood opportunities.
Government ministries, NGOs
181 292 households (906 460 people) – about 55% were headed by women.
A later than normal start of seasonal rains experienced across most of the country
The start of the rainfall season was delayed by 10 to > 40 days in several parts of the country. This later than normal start of rainfall has delayed planting activities, resulting in reduced incomes for casual-labor dependent households for the months of November and December. Delays in weeding opportunities are also expected in the coming months.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Dry conditions during planting period of 2018 cereal crops
However, rainfall prospects generally favourable for remainder of current 2017/18 season
Maize production in 2017 estimated at well aboveaverage level
Ample cereal supplies result in reduced import requirements for 2017/18 marketing year and increased stock levels
Food security conditions improved significantly, mostly on account of increased agricultural output
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Preventive Mission in the Kingdom of Lesotho (SAPMIL) was officially launched by the Representative of the Chairperson of Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Admiral Gasper Rufino on 2nd December 2017, at the VODACOM Park Grounds in Maseru, Lesotho.
The launch was attended by Acting Prime Minister of Lesotho, Honourable Monyane Moleleki and SADC Executive Secretary was represented by SADC Director Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Affairs, Mr Jorge Cardoso.
Slightly late start of the 2017/18 rainfall season
The 2017/18 cropping season has officially started. And so far, a few areas are abnormally dry, but it is still very early in the season. Nonetheless, since the start of the season is underway, farmers are engaged in various agricultural activities.
Following a well above-average national harvest, food supplies are readily available in markets even as the lean season period approaches. The upcoming lean season is expected to be much less severe than what was experienced last year because of the 2015/16 El Niño-induced drought. According to the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS, July 2017), maize imports for the 2017/18 marketing year are expected to be about 55,000 MT.
In 2015/16, Lesotho was severely affected by a El Niño-induced drought, leaving more than 60% of the rural population at risk of food insecurity. Humanitarian partners were able to secure more than USD 40 million for the relief response. The DFID-funded Joint Programme addressed urgent humanitarian needs in five different sectors of the drought response and played an instrumental role during the peaks of the lean seasons.
Normal to above normal rainfall was received across the country in August to December 2016. Water levels of rivers, springs and reservoirs improved significantly, but remained lower than normal.
The Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) was established in 2002. It is a government led multidisciplinary committee within the Office of the Prime Minister- Disaster Management Authority (DMA). Its membership consists of Government Ministries and Departments, United Nations Organizations, NonGovernmental organizations and the Private Sector. It is mandated to carry out livelihood vulnerability analysis and its aim is to provide timely analysis for emergency interventions as well as medium to long-term programming.