The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been feeding people in Lesotho since 1965, yet the tiny mountain kingdom is still not much closer to achieving food self-sufficiency. Time to overhaul the approach, aid agencies say. WFP generally only ships and provides food in crisis situations like civil conflicts and natural disasters. Programmes sometimes linger on after the emergency has passed, when food aid used is to help communities rebuild, but the goal is usually to move out.

Taelo Motseki had every reason to wear a broad smile despite the afternoon chill. His family along with 21 others displaced by Phase 1B of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project at Ha Mohale had won a decade-long struggle seeking compensation. On Sep 8, the Ombudsman, Sekara Mafisa, reversed and earlier decision and ruled in their favour, ending what had become a source of both frustration and anger for the 22 households now resettled at Ha Matala, in Lesotho's capital, Maseru.

The construction of a two billion dollar dam in Metolong, some 35 kilometres outside of Lesotho’s capital Maseru, is being welcomed by people in and around the city who will gain access to clean and safe drinking water when construction is completed in 2013. But for 250 rural families who will lose access to land and natural resources - some will be forced to relocate to make way for roads, power lines and other infrastructural development during construction - the dam is bad news.

This report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) outlines the community-based approach to the decentralisation of HIV and AIDS services. The Wellspring of Hope was the first programme in Lesotho to provide HIV and AIDS treatment and care through an entire health service area as a result of this initiative.

A health centre in one of Lesotho’s poorest districts has scored significant success in implementing a prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) programme, but health experts warn that a number of factors, including cultural beliefs and stigma, threaten to derail it. "It was the most difficult decision to make in my life, but I knew that I had to do it for the sake of my unborn child. The pre-testing counselling we received also helped a great deal," recalled 24-year-old Nthabise...read more