The Draining of Lesotho, How did a small mountain kingdom once rich in water end up parched? Haynie Devon


Lesotho, climate change, food security, water, drought


Lesotho, Klimawandel, Ernährungssicherung, Wasser, Dürre



Lesotho, a small mountain kingdom surrounded by South Africa was one of the nations hardest hit by the 2015 drought that caused Southern Africa's driest growing season in 35 years. The El Niño driven-phenomenon sparked a 47 percent drop in maize production, the country's staple food, during the spring harvest. At least 709,394 people – close to 50 percent of the population – are estimated to need food assistance through April 2017, according to the United Nations. For the people of Lesotho, called the Basotho, a lack of rain doesn't just mean crop failure and less food. It means the taps run dry and the rivers shrink, endangering livestock and forcing people to drink from riskier sources, leading to illness. It also means more attention to what some consider a cruel irony: Lesotho actually has plenty of water – it's just sending much of it to South Africa. The Katse Dam, the second-largest water barrier in Africa, is part of a controversial development project called the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, the biggest water transfer scheme on the continent and one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Created Date: 06-10-2016
Last Updated Date: 06-10-2016
License: Link only