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About Lesotho

The Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. It has a population slightly over two million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. About 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25 a day.

The country is economically linked to South Africa. The economy of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing and mining, and depends heavily on inflows of workers’ remittances and receipts from the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). The majority of households subsist on farming. The formal sector employment consist of mainly the female workers in the apparel sector, the male migrant labour, primarily miners in South Africa for 3 to 9 months and employment in the Government of Lesotho (GOL). The western lowlands form the main agricultural zone. Almost 50% of the population earn income through informal crop cultivation or animal husbandry with nearly two-thirds of the country's income coming from the agricultural sector.

Water and diamonds are Lesotho's significant natural resources. Water is utilized through the 21-year, multi-billion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project(LHWP), under the authority of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority. The project commenced in 1986. Completion of the first phase of the project has made Lesotho almost completely self-sufficient in the production of electricity and generated approximately $70 million in 2010 from the sale of electricity and water to South Africa.

Lesotho is in the process of implementing their advocacy campaign to establish an effective alcohol policy in the Kingdom.