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April 24, 2024

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jj    Lesotho   

Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa, is crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges including the 3,482m-high peak of Thabana Ntlenyana. On the Thaba Bosiu plateau, near Lesotho's capital, Maseru, are ruins dating from the 19th-century reign of King Moshoeshoe I. Thaba Bosiu overlooks iconic Mount Qiloane, an enduring symbol of the nation’s Basotho people. ― Google

Capital: Maseru

Dialing code: +266

Population: 2.125 million (2019) World Bank

Continent: Africa

Currencies: South African rand, Lesotho loti

Official languages: Southern Sotho, English

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Lesotho is situated on the highest part of the Drakensberg escarpment of the eastern rim of the Southern African plateau between 1,500m and 3,482m above sea level and its agro-ecologically divided into Lowlands (southern and northern), Senqu River Valley, Foothills, and the Mountains regions. The Southern Lowlands is characterized by flat to gently rolling topography, rising gradually towards the foothills along the northeast. The soil is sandy with significant clay in places, relatively less fertile compared with the northern lowlands’ soils and very fragile with high erodibility especially by wind and water. The Southern Lowlands are one of the driest and drought prone regions in Lesotho and normally experiences the least amount of rainfall compared to other agro- ecological zones, and erratic follow-up rains and uneven spread of rain through the season.

Lesotho experiences climate change impacts and shocks with drought being the most recurrent and impactful hazard over the last 100 years. Studies indicate that there is an increase in drought emergencies recorded over the 25-year period (1991/1992 – 2015/2016) in Lesotho and the most impactful drought events are agricultural and socio-economic in nature, as they deteriorate natural resource-based livelihoods along with reduced crop and livestock productivity undermining socio-economic assets bases and creating livelihood vulnerabilities. In the last 10 years, the country experienced three extreme drought episodes (2011/12, 2015/16,2018/19). The major impact of these past episodes was food insecurity. The situation is exacerbated by continuous crop failures, low incomes, and high food prices, with 41% of rural families spending more than half of their income on food. These extreme drought conditions required prompt interventions to reduce human suffering and loss of their livelihoods. Therefore, LRCS through this Early Action Protocol (EAP) aims to mitigate drought impacts through anticipatory actions (AA) in the districts that are anticipated to observe worst drought impacts.

The EAP will be implemented by LRCS in coordination and collaboration with other stakeholders, members of the Climate Change and Adaptation technical working group, Disaster Management Authority, Lesotho Meteorological Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and Ministry of Forestry and with technical support from IFRC, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCCC) and German Red Cross Society (GRC). The pre- identified early actions target 5140 HH (20 560 people) vulnerable communities living in the southern lowlands and Senqu valley. Through the pre-identified early actions, the EAP will target 5140 HH (20 560 people) vulnerable communities living in the southern lowlands and Senqu valley as these regions are classified as high and moderate risk areas.

In developing this EAP, LRCS through the FbF program began with the process of an extensive scoping study on drought which included consultations with key stakeholders. The study was done jointly with the National University of Lesotho. The scooping study was informed by the feasibility study conducted by the GRCS in the year 2019. The subsequent in-house PER assessment was conducted for the LRCS to taper into the capacity and experience of the LRCS in drought impacts and priorities opted for and why. LRCS will use this EAP as a guiding tool to ensure timely and effective implementation of early actions based on impact-based forecasts. The EAP clearly defines what actions when, where, and with what funds actions will be taken.

The following are the two prioritized early actions:

  • Dessimination of early warning messages to 20,560 people: This will allow communities to take measure that will help them to reduce the impact of drought.

  • Unconditional cash transfer to 2640 vulnerable households: This will enable beneficiaries to purchase basic food prior to price increase. During a normal year, this is the time when green harvest is expected and failure to plant in September-December due to insufficient moisture will lead to green harvest failure.

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LRCS
Lesotho Red Cross Society
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Humanitarian Impact
  20,560
      Affected Persons
2,640
        Families
⇣ DownLoad Report
EAP2022LS01 (1).pdf

OCHA coordinates the global emergency response to save lives and protect people in humanitarian crises.

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