Lesotho Remote Monitoring Update, September 2018

Situation Report
Originally published
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Earlier than normal lean season expected

Key Messages

  • The lean season is expected to start earlier than normal as many poor households have depleted their food stocks and depend on market purchases. Although markets are well supplied with maize meal, market prices have seasonally increased since July. This combined with below-average income is lowering poor household’s ability to buy food. Currently, poor households are experiencing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to emerge in November, marking an early start of the lean season.
  • Most households are currently preparing for the 2019 agricultural season and poor households have some access to agriculture labor opportunities, but the availability of opportunities are occurring slower than normal. Based on the forecast weak El Niño, average tending to below-average rainfall is anticipated for the 2018/19 rainy season, and is likely to negatively affect cropping activities and access to agriculture-based labor.
  • Winter crops are currently growing especially in lowland areas where winter wheat is grown. The estimated area planted is similar to a normal year. However, most poor households typically do not plant wheat or plant only a small area. As a result, food security among poor households is not impacted significantly by winter crops.