Habitat for Humanity Lesotho
Habitat's work in Lesotho
Lesotho News and Stories
Putsoa (5), Lisemelo (2) and Kefuoe (8) Namane from Rothe, Lesotho. They are vulnerable in that their parents cannot care for them. Habitat Lesotho built them a house under the OVC program. They like the house because it is beautiful and they can clean it and keep it pretty.
Nthabiseng Bereng is an orphan living in a house provided by HFH Lesotho’s OVC program. HFH Lesotho partners with other organizations to provide holistic care for the children.
The housing need in Lesotho
Lesotho (La-SUE-too), also known as the “roof of Africa”, is a mountainous country with a vast range of altitudes. The lowest elevation in the country is still above 3,000 feet, making it the world’s highest ‘minimum elevation’ of any nation on earth! During the winter months, snow covers much of the mountain ranges and makes working outdoors difficult. Only 0.5 percent of Lesotho is forested. Because of this, obtaining coal, kerosene or straw for heating during these months is strenuous and challenging. Challenges in the textile and agriculture sectors, in addition to the high rate of HIV/AIDS make it difficult for families to afford safe and decent shelter. Over 40 percent of women between the ages of 25 and 39 years are infected, and 53 percent of children are orphans. These dilemmas encourage many families to migrate to larger cities in search of stable employment.
In many instances, arriving in the capital with little money and even less formal training makes it hard to find work and housing. Families end up living in overcrowded, unsafe and unhealthy conditions. As many as fifteen families may share one latrine and often children play near open sewage. Women are particularly vulnerable due to the patriarchal traditions. Recent legislation has permitted women to inherit property, but due to the lack of widespread knowledge many are unaware of these rights and have little hope of ever having a place to call their own. The Ministry of Local Government reports that more than 45,000 units of decent, affordable housing are needed to resolve the current crisis in the capital district alone!
Habitat for Humanity in Lesotho
Habitat for Humanity Lesotho launched its program in 2001 and has worked in seven of the ten districts. These districts are located in both the lowlands and the foothills of the Mountain Kingdom. HFH Lesotho constructs block and brick homes consisting of corrugated iron roofs. Homes range from either a single-room addition to three-roomed houses. All houses have a detached latrine.
The current initiative at HFH Lesotho is called the BUILD Lesotho Project (Bringing Shelter and United Initiatives to Lift Disadvantaged Children), which is a multi-year project targeting orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the northern districts of Lesotho. Since many OVC families cannot afford minimal loan payments, HFH Lesotho provides fully subsidized homes to ensure their protection. HFH Lesotho also advocates on behalf of vulnerable groups, such as OVC and widows, by disseminating information about inheritance and property rights as well as providing will registration assistance. Through these activities, HFH Lesotho helps vulnerable families in Lesotho improve their lives and protect their futures.
Download Building Connections (637kb .pdf) and learn how you can get involved with Habitat’s Global Village volunteer program to Lesotho.
Capital : Maseru
HIV Prevalence: 23.2 percent
AIDS Orphans: 110,000
When the program started: 2001
Video: HFH Lesotho on YouTube
Housing Solutions: New houses, Renovations and repairs, Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC