Habitat for Humanity Lesotho
Habitat's work in Lesotho
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho seeks to empower and transform communities in Lesotho by providing decent, clean and affordable shelter to Basotho families. Our program falls under the Vulnerable Group Housing (VGH) program as we work with disadvantaged groups in society to access decent housing solutions. For the past seven years, since 2007, we have worked with and for families with Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) as our key beneficiaries.
The housing need in Lesotho
Lesotho has the third highest HIV/AIDs adult prevalence in the world with just under one in four people living with HIV. As a result of the pandemic, of all the countries with HIV prevalence greater than one percent (1%), Lesotho has the largest percentage of children who have lost one or both parents. For 68% of all OVC, HIV&AIDS is the major factor causing orphanhood and vulnerability. As a result, many of these children live in places that are either indecent, unhygienic or in overcrowded spaces after the loss of their parents. Further, about 68% of the Lesotho’s population lives in households defined as poor with unhealthy conditions ranging from overcrowded homes, unsanitary conditions, and exposed elements. Many orphaned Basotho children lack a safe place to call home. Land ownership issues in Lesotho have also contributed to the woes faced by OVCs in the country. Many of them have been victims of property/land grabbing leaving them in desperate need of shelter.
How Habitat addressed the need in Lesotho
Habitat Lesotho’s VGH program works with OVCs and their families to address their needs for decent and clean shelter. The program is keen on providing long term and sustainable solutions to its beneficiaries by providing holistic support to selected families. The program ensures that beneficiaries receive support needed to better their lives and eventually work their way out of absolute poverty.
Here are some examples of Habitat projects in Lesotho:
- Vulnerable groups housing program
Under this program, Habitat Lesotho constructs simple, yet durable tworoom houses with concrete blocks and roofed with corrugated iron sheets. A ventilated pit latrine is constructed to improve sanitation.
Additionally, Habitat Lesotho advocates for security of tenure and initiates ownership processes for OVC households to ensure they legally own the land before Habitat Lesotho builds a house for them. Local authority committees working with Habitat Lesotho are instrumental in assisting OVC households to legally own land where Habitat Lesotho builds.
Since Habitat Lesotho’s program goal is to transform communities, beneficiary families and their communities are further empowered under this program through various trainings. Trainings on hygiene, home maintenance and inheritance rights are provided to all beneficiary families served through VGH projects and, in many cases, to community members who may not have been direct beneficiaries of the house. House maintanance trainings ensure that the houses provide long-term shelter for the families. The knowledge gained through the inheritance rights training has seen an increased number of wills registered in various Habitat Lesotho’s projects. It also safeguards the OVC family interests leading to reduced cases of property grabbing in the unfortunate event of death of the OVC caregivers.
In all interventions, Habitat Lesotho works in close collaboration with the Government of Lesotho, development partners and NGOs as well as local organizations to address needs of OVC families that more often extend beyond the need for decent shelter. This way, an all-round approach to addressing the needs is adopted while ensuring community ownership of projects is prioritized.
Meet a Habitat family
Three years ago, Neo Ralejoe lost his parents, leaving him under the care of his uncle Ramosa who was also orphaned. The two lived in their late parents’ dilapidated house but it was not long after, that their house collapsed. The boys had to separate and live with different aunts afterwards.
Like many orphaned children in Lesotho, both boys were faced with the risk of being kicked out of their current homes as they had no security of ownership of the property. Through Habitat’s Lesotho OVC housing program, Neo was selected as a beneficiary for a new two-room house with complete sanitation facilities and he could finally be reunited with Ramosa. Land was allocated for the construction of the new house and secured by the Master of the High Court on behalf of Neo. Habitat
What you can do
You can help needy families in Lesotho improve their living conditions by taking one or more of the following actions:
Join one of the scheduled Global Village trips to Lesotho or lead your own. For more information go to: habitat.org/gv
Establish a strong and rewarding tithe partnership to help build houses globally! Quote 863400, LESOTHO on your checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 121 Habitat St. Americus, GA 31709
To learn more about Habitat projects in Lesotho or in other parts of the region, please contact us.
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho
Mathabo Makuta, National Director
Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa
Colleen Hughes, Program Manager
Main country facts: Kingdom of Lesotho gained independence in 1966
Population: 1.9 million
Urbanization: 27.6 percent live in cities
Life expectancy: 53 years
Unemployment rate: 25 percent
Population living below poverty line: 49 percent
Find more country facts on:
CIA The World Factbook – Lesotho
When the program started: 2001
Families served: More than 9,500
Volunteers hosted: More than 1,50
Housing Solutions: New homes, Water and sanitation, Health and hygiene, house maintanance and secure tenure trainings