Lesotho experienced severe drought due to below-average rainfall and high temperatures during the 2015/2016 El Niño. The weakening rand and increased food prices aggravated the humanitarian crisis.  Until early 2017, around one-quarter of the population was severely food insecure at Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions, with many people and services with only limited access to water.

Lesothowas categorised as No Severity in March 2017, as the food security situation improved significantly towards the end of 2016 and is expected to continue to improve in 2017 , with no severity in May 2017. The crisis analysis will no longer be updated, but ACAPS continues to monitor Lesotho on a weekly basis, due to its vulnerability to food insecurity.


Latest Developments

FEWSNET predicts Lesotho will not have external food assistance needs in July 2017.


Key figures

  • 491,200 People in Crisis and Emergency food security  [?]
  • 709,000 People will be affected by drought in 2017  [?]

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: 46% of the rural population is estimated to be severely food insecure.

Health: Health facilities are hampered by limited water availability. A large increase in diarrhoeal diseases has been reported.

Information Gaps and needs

  • Limited information is available on health and educational needs caused by the drought.

Lessons learned

  • In the 2012 drought, 725,000 people faced a food insecurity crisis (IPC Phase 3 and 4) between May and August.?


Key documents



Drought in Eastern and Southern Africa