Feeding Lesotho’s poor

Feeding Lesotho’s poor

MASERU – MOTHER Theresa once said “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”
This is what the World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Lesotho government’s Disaster Management Authority (DMA) and World Vision, is doing.
Nearly 700 000 people are yet to recover from the impact of the 2015 drought that pushed them into starvation.

For many the aid from the WFP, DMA and World Vision is what has kept hunger at bay over the past eight months.
In Ha-Raleqheka, Mpatane, a 53-year-old ’Mathuso Mokhanya lives with 12 family members.

Her husband retired from a South African mine in 1997, cutting off a reliable source of income that had sustained them for years. Now she relies on aid from the WFP which she says has kept her family from starving.

‘‘I used to make a living through the brewing of traditional beer and sell each jug for M5.’’ ‘‘Selling beer did not just put food on my table but also paid my children’s school fees. Sadly, my son when he was doing Form C had to drop out due to lack of money. I so wish next time the government can provide us with seeds so that we produce some food,” Mokhanya said.
Lefu Mokete says he depends on a small pension and odd jobs but he can barely afford decent food. The food from WFP fills the gaps, he said.
A 38-year-old unemployed woman, ’Matiisetso Mothiba, said ‘‘before the intervention of the government, we relied on working relatives for food”. The project which started in December 2016 ended last month. It catered for Likolobeng, Kubake and Makhoalipane in Mohale’s Hoek district and Ha-Raleqheka in rural Maseru. It helped 1 550 beneficiaries from 363 families.
Each family received food based on how many members it consisted of. They received maize meal, peas and cooking oil.

World Vision’s Assistant Commodity Officer, Mantšasa Molapo-Moletsane, said the rations had been increased because the project is ending.
The WFP and the World Vision were roped in because the DMA did not have enough money when it started the project.

’Mapule Motsopa

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