Drought caused by erratic rainfalls of 2015 followed by the strongest El Niño of 35 years has led to severe drought in Lesotho. 534,508 people are currently food insecure and the government declared a state of emergency in December 2015. Livestock have died due to the drought, and an increasing number of children are suffering from malnutrition.
Through an emergency appeal launched by the IFRC, the Lesotho Red Cross Society is organizing aid to 9,000 beneficiaries.
Across southern Africa, 28 million people are now affected by drought with the figure potentially climbing as high as 49 million. The IFRC has launched Emergency Appeals in Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, totaling more than 3 million Swiss francs to provide up to 37,000 people with emergency life-saving support as they battle the effects of severe droughts and the El Niño phenomenon.
Lipuo Mpitsa, 16, lives with her mother and three siblings in a village in Thaba-Tseke district, an area in the Lesotho highland that struggles with high rates of HIV. Lipuo is not going to school due to the financial status in her household, and she is not getting enough to eat. Currently she is only eating peaches, which she says give her diarrhoea, and she does not have money to go to the hospital. She is worried about the coming winter because she knows her family will be food insecure.