Following the heavy rainfall coupled with winds which caused severe damages affecting 968 people whose impacts were felt mostly by communities in Maseru and Quthing districts from the 22nd -28th December 2023, Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) received the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to the tune of 71 435 CHF from International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) to respond.

The overall objective of this DREF is to provide support and assistance to 770 targeted people affected in Quthing and Maseru through a comprehensive response addressing humanitarian priorities which are shelter, livelihoods, and mitigating immediate hygiene and disease prevention while monitoring the situation.

The assessment revealed that storms did not only disrupted infrastructure and houses but also affected household economic stability. Business owners and people working in affected businesses were affected and also lost their daily income. People also lost their valuable property and other household items.

When the event occurred, most farmers were midway through the summer cropping and the excessive rains led to waterlogged fields and this has a potential to threaten the next harvest and livelihoods as most people in rural community areas rely heavily on agriculture as their primary source of food and income.

The prioritized needs include WASH, shelter, food parcels and other essential households’ items. Following the assessment and verification exercise, LRCS will be able to release the support in the coming months. Strategy is to provide cash intervention with some in-kind distribution for a holistic approach that will mitigate the negative impacts of the disaster and assist the affected families to cope whilst restoring their well-being and covering their emergency needs.

Protection, Gender, and Inclusion (PGI), and Community Engagement and Accountability (CEA) will be mainstreamed in all the interventions. For instance, CEA approaches will use suggestion box, the already existing toll-free number and the formation of community help desk.

LRCS is also targeting to provide mattress, blankets and kitchen sets that will constitute the minimum of items to help the families and later give them minimum necessities when they get back to their restored houses. Through this DREF operation, each family will receive the total of LSL 3,700.

This multi-usage cash one off instalment will be provided to efficiently cover the multi-sectoral needs of the affected families, include provision of shelter, cover the basic needs that ensured to each family’s minimum protection to mitigate further harm. – M 1200 of that instalment is calculated to purchase average minimum food basket. – M 2500 of that instalment aims to address shelter needs such as roofing and repair other the damages.

This will help the affected families to return to their households. Beneficiaries will receive mobile cash transfers distribution using the two available network services to ensure the best coverage and access for all the families.

Community-based targeting and verification with local authorities will be done to avoid duplication and corruption-related targeting. Community Engagement Accountability tools will be in place to allow two-way communication between stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The project will last for four Months starting from January to May 2024.