Overview

Well-below average rainfall since October has led to a deterioration of the pasture and livestock conditions. Food security had previously been impacted by the late onset of rains, dry spells and frost during the 2017-2018 agricultural season, when national production only covered 21% of the national needs of cereals for human consumption.? As a result, 11% of the country’s population is experiencing IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or above, a proportion expected to rise to 18% between September 2018 and February 2019 as reduced rainfall are expected in the following months, with prediction for El Niño exceeding 80% likelihood.? The last El Niño events in 2025-16 resulted in drought conditions and impacted the livelihoods and food security of 35% of the country’s population.? 

INFORM measures Lesotho's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be medium, at 4.6/10. Lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are all at concerning levels: 6.7/10 and 6.0/10 respectively. ?

Latest Developments

No recent significant humanitarian developments. This country is being monitored by our analysis team. Last checked: 27/02

Key priorities

WASH: Water scarcity has led to crop failure, pest infestation, animal diseases, waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, and malnutrition.

Food security: The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) results indicate that more than 250,000 people - almost 18% of the country’s population - will require lifesaving humanitarian assistance over the lean season (December – February).

Livelihoods: Around 70% of Lesotho’s population is dependent on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods. A decrease in crop production is likely to lead to livelihood disruption and to the adoption of negative coping strategies such as selling of livestock.

Information Gaps and needs

  • Lack of detailed information on affected areas and severity of needs.
Key documents

OCHA

01/12/2016

Drought in Eastern and Southern Africa