Lesotho: Drought Situation Update 02 (as of 8 October 2019)

Situation Report
Originally published


This report is produced by the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Lesotho in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It is issued by the Humanitarian Country Team. It covers the period from 3 May to 8 October 2019


• April to September 2019 was characterized by below normal rains for some parts of the country- impacting negatively on winter harvest and rangelands

• Rangelands deteriorated earlier (August) than normal- negatively affecting livestock conditions.

• Prices remained lower than five-year average and higher that previous year.

• In the period (May – September 2019), approximately 350,000 rural people were in phase 3 (emergency food security situation IPC).

• Four districts; Maseru, Mohale’ Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek classified in IPC Phase 3.

• The situation is expected to deteriorate further and around 430,410 rural people are expected to be severely food insecure with all the districts classified in phase 3- emergency food insecurity Integrated Phase Classification in October 2019 to March 2020.

Seasonal Outlook

According to Lesotho Meteorological Services, the rains for season 2019/20 are likely to delay. In the period October to December 2019 the country is expected to receive normal rains with the possibility of below normal rains. In the period November 2019 to March 2020 normal rainfall conditions are expected with the possibility of above normal rains, however the episodes of dry conditions are expected in-between the good rains.

The department further indicated that the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently on its neutral phase with most models predicting a slight possibility of a weak El Nino during the period December 2019 to February 2020.
The neutral ENSO can have a mixture of both El Nino (Dry conditions) and La Nina (enhanced rainfall).