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Erratic start of season results in reduced labor opportunities for households in Lesotho

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Lesotho
  • November 2015
Erratic start of season results in reduced labor opportunities for households in Lesotho

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Erratic rainfall during the start of season in October has delayed agricultural activities in some parts of Lesotho. This has reduced early opportunities for casual labor for poor households, limiting access to food and income for households already affected by dryness-related losses last year. This delays is also likely to delay the consumption of green crops which normally increase food access near the end of the lean season. 

    • Climate forecasts the ongoing El Niño will continue through March 2016, which is usually associated with below-normal rainfall over Lesotho. This could result in a second consecutive year of below-average production and higher than normal staple food prices, especially if key productions areas of South Africa are affected by dryness. 

    • Staple food prices are expected to remain about 16 percent above last year’s prices, between now and the end of the lean season in March 2016. These price increases are driven largely by higher prices of food imports from South Africa following reduced 2015 production, as well as a regional decline in cereal production. This will continue to weaken the purchasing power of very poor and poor households. 

    • As a result, parts of Southern Lowlands, Foothills, Mountains, and Senque River Valley livelihood zones will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with some households in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in the districts of Mafeteng, Qacha’s Nek, Thaba Tseka, Mohale’s Hoek, Butha Buthe, and Mokhotlong. However, the greater majority of households in Lesotho will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity. 

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    Figure 1

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    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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