Lesotho Key Message Update, May 2019

Situation Report
Originally published
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2019 harvest is expected to bring short-term relief and support Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes

Key Messages

The limited harvest has begun in Lesotho, leading to increased consumption of food crops. Opportunities for agricultural activities, while still below average, are improving household access to market foods by providing additional income. However, some households in the southern lowlands (the typical high producing area in Lesotho) are facing crop failure due to a poor 2018/19 rainfall season. Currently, the majority of poor households remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), although food security outcomes are expected to slightly improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between June and September due to the harvest.

Pastures and water sources have improved due to late season rains. However, rangeland resources did not regenerate to typical levels and will likely deplete earlier than normal. Expected snowfall in the mountains will likely support slight grass regeneration in local areas. Livestock body conditions are average, but deterioration is expected due to lack of water. Livestock selling remains an option for households who own relatively larger numbers.

The markets in Lesotho remain well-stocked and are receiving consistent supplies, as usual, from markets in South Africa. Staple food prices in Maseru market are steadily increasing and are expected to remain above average, largely due to increases in the source markets and speculation of a poor production.