Lesotho Living Lab is starting to build the country’s drought response capacity

Marc van den Homberg, Balbina Nyamakura (IHE) and Riccardo Biella (CNDS, UU) carried out a visit to Lesotho where they attended the kick-off meeting of the Lesotho Living Lab and carried out important research. In the Lesotho Living Lab, I-CISK is supporting the Lesotho Red Cross Society and the 510 initiative in their project on Forecast-Based Financing aimed at building the country’s drought response capacity. Paradoxically, while Lesotho is famous for its exports of mineral waters and hydropower electricity, its rural population remains highly vulnerable to droughts. As a consequence, shifting rainfall patterns due to climate change threaten the security of many Basotho whose livelihoods depend on rai-fed agriculture.

Lesotho RC Headquarter, Balbina Nyamakura (IHE) and Riccardo Biella (CNDS)

The I-CISK project not only offers technical expertise to improve drought forecasting skills thanks to its collaborations with EMCWF and SMHI, but also ensures the usability of said information by tailoring it to the user’s needs. In addition, through their research, Balbina and Riccardo are contributing to I-CISK ambitious goals of showcasing the benefits that co-creation processes bring to drought forecasting and how these can help the shift of the humanitarian operation of the Lesotho Red Cross Society from a response-based approach to an anticipatory one

Maletsunyane Falls’ canyon