Lesotho

Over-saturated soil prevents farmers from planting

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News and Press Release
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World Vision Lesotho is preparing for another three months of World Food Program (WFP) food distribution in the south of Lesotho. As a medium term project, World Vision Lesotho, will start a 9-month sub-regional programme in October 2002.
The southern areas of Lesotho, Mohaleshoek and Quthing, were hardest hit by an excessive amount of rain during the planting season (August/September/October) last year. Farmers' crops were flooded and in other cases they had to start planting later, which also resulted in failed crops because of early and unexpected frost.

Although some farmers harvested small amounts of maize in May and June, these reserves will only last for a few months. According to Hape Matli, Field Support Director, signs of malnourishment under children and old people are already visible. "In Mokanametsong a 7-year old girl recently died of malnutrition."

Matli says Lesotho faces several problems:

- Size of the country;

- People see children as their wealth, which results in a high birth rate;

- Agricultural land were used for residential purposes;

- Not making good use of agricultural land.

"The 9-month sub-regional programme will comprise of free food distribution until the next harvest," explains Matli. "Eight districts in Lesotho will benefit from this programme. World Vision Lesotho, in conjunction with other NGO's will distribute WFP food."