Half a million people from a population of 2 million are estimated to be at the crises level of vulnerability for 2019/2020 agriculture year.

Approximately 433,410 rural and 74,715 urban population from six districts are in crisis phase (phase 3) while the remaining four districts are on phase 2, stress level. This was revealed by the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) report.

IPC indicated that the situation was likely to worsen during October 2019 to March 2020.

The report urged that there is a need for immediate response to mitigate the impact caused by  the “drought phenomenon” in the next six months, hence the appeal.”

The prevailing drought in Lesotho has negatively affected the health facilities such that no deliveries are being done.

This was said by Prime Minister Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane-when making an appeal for humanitarian assistance on November 4th, 2019.

Dr. Thabane said the findings of the Lesotho Vulnerability Assessment Committee (LVAC) have revealed that cases of diarrhea are increasing dramatically.

The report shows that there is a widespread water scarcity and water rationing, deteriorating livestock and pasture condition, livestock deaths and delayed-start of the summer cropping season.

“Basic services such as health have been affected to an extent that some clinics no longer conduct deliveries and cases of diarrhea are increasing,” he said.

He showed that there is a need for immediate response to mitigate the impact in the next six months from November 2019 to April 2020.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you the country’s consolidated appeal for Humanitarian Assistance intended to enable the Government to effectively respond to the challenges presented by the current drought,” he noted.

Dr. Theban stated that women and girls are entrusted with collecting water for domestic use while the vulnerable members of the communities who include the elderly and people with disabilities are the ones hard hit by the drought.

He added that the emergency appeal will ensure that the vulnerable groups in the country are provided with necessary support to meet their basic needs. He stated that the Government has in place plans and strategies intended to address the challenges.

The PM cited some of the strategies that will be employed as follows;

  • acquisition of medication for expected outbreaks of animal diseases;
  • raising awareness about the situation;
  • strengthening of social transfer strategies for chronically vulnerable people and
  • expansion of the public works program to accommodate vulnerable able-bodied persons

An estimated total financial requirement is One Billion.