people in Lesotho don't have access to safe water.

1.5 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Lesotho.

Almost 500 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Lesotho.

Lesotho is a small country: an enclave within South Africa. Over half the population lives below the poverty line, and despite the country's valuable natural resources it remains very poor.

The crisis

Due to its high altitude, Lesotho benefits from a relatively high level of rainfall, and even exports water to South Africa. However, there are severe water supply problems in the country.

70% of the population lack access to a simple toilet. As a result, they have no choice but to defecate in the open, which is one of the main causes of diarrhoeal diseases.

Adult literacy is relatively high at 75%, but more information on good hygiene practice is needed. Poor hygiene is a serious issue in Lesotho, contributing to ill-health and many children dying before the age of five.

Our approach

WaterAid is currently assessing the capacity of those responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene in Lesotho. This will help us target our efforts and select the most effective partners to work with.

We also hope to provide technical support and guidance to the national government. Together we can develop accurate monitoring systems to find those most in need and improve the reliability of water points.

We plan to help communities install simple, affordable and sustainable technologies. We will focus on improving access to safe water and toilets for marginalised people, such as those living with HIV/AIDS.

Our impact

Our programme in Lesotho is at the pilot stage.