Lesotho is a small landlocked country in Southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. The population of Lesotho is estimated to be 2.1 million with an annual growth of 0.8%. Lesotho experiences major developmental challenges such as extreme poverty, high rate of unemployment, increased crime rate and rank second globally in term of its high HIV/AIDS prevalence. These challenges are exacerbated by the increasingly severe impacts of climate induced disasters.
Lesotho is experiencing an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events, including droughts, hailstorms, snowstorms, heavy rainfall and early frost. These disrupt infrasture as well as other socio-economic aspects such as agriculture, health and overall livelihoods that is associated to an increasing rural-urban migration. . Amongst the impacts of drought experienced are water scarcity due to the unequal seasonal distribution and proximity of water resources and crop failure.
This Living Lab is established in Southern Lesotho and the Senqu Valley . Vulnerbale communities in these regions are frequently exposed to drought and rely entirely on rain-fed agriculture and small-scale livestock farming, which is directly affected by drought. The living lab has a focus on climate services to support anticipatory actions to drought, and enable national and district level stakeholders to work closely in empowering communities to decide how to adapt to climate change and mitigate the impact of extreme drought events. The primary sectors considered are Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Risk Reduction, but climate information needs to support adaptation strategies for agriculture are also addressed.