Lesotho Profile

Lesotho, meaning "the land of the people who speak Sesotho" is a small enclave kingdom within the borders of South Africa with a population of just over two million people.

Formerly known as Basutoland, it gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1966 and became the Kingdom of Lesotho.

Whilst life is already difficult in the mountainous kingdom with only 10% of its land being cultivable, a recent United Nations report concluded that climate change could shrink this even further to just 3% within twenty five years.

Like many other African countries, Lesotho has suffered from internal politicking which has left an already disadvantaged country even weaker, where a quarter of the population has HIV/AIDS, alongside high unemployment, near economic collapse and a week currency.

Lesotho is in 158th place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the living standards of a country.

Droughts have occurred in Lesotho for decades, however recent droughts have been the worst for over a quarter of a century leaving upwards of a quarter of the population in need of humanitarian aid just to survive.

Such droughts have decimated farm crops and many have abandoned the land, not just because of uncertainty as to whether crops will actually end up growing, but also due to a shortage of manpower as AIDS sweeps across the kingdom. It is now estimated that a quarter of all adults in Lesotho have HIV with 50% of all women infected. This is the third highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS anywhere in the world and in 2009 alone 12,000 people died from leaving 30% of all children in Lesotho orphaned with live expectancy not even 40 years.



 
 
 
 
 

Lesotho Profile

Lesotho Profile

Lesotho Profile

Lesotho Profile

 


Lesotho History

Lesotho History

A history profile of the Kingdom of Lesotho from ancient times to independence in 1966.
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Volunteer Work Lesotho

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Lesotho Profile

Lesotho Profile

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These children have very poor life opportunities. Most have to walk two hours to school and the same back, often arriving at school unable to concentrate due to malnourishment. On their return from school many are required to look after sick parents in addition to other chores such as collecting sticks for firewood and replenishing water supplies. As these children grow up, doctors, teachers and other workers are dying around them in great number from AIDS with no similarly 'skilled' workforce to replace them. It is as though the kingdom is facing extinction. Matters were compounded with the global economic crisis of 2009 which affected employment opportunities as many Lesotho adults worked in South African mines, but this employment dried up and has not yet recovered. Now take our Lesotho quiz here.

 

 
 


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