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Page history last edited by liz 13 years, 5 months ago

Where a River Runs Through Lesotho

by Elizabeth C. and Grady 


     Lesotho one of the smallest country in all of Africa with a population of 2.13 million in a area 11,718sq. miles. Its population is fairly poor and so is Lesotho's economy which consists of manly of exporting water and the electricity produced through dams. Other exports are livestock and textiles. Some of the income is also produced from multiple persons working in South Africa to get a greater income.The languages in the country are Sotho, English, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana and the main religion is Roman Catholic. So far life since their independence it has been hard to maintain a stable and a okay health care system. Health Care is hard for such a small budget and is almost impossible with the lack of trained professionals in the medical field. The government which is a parliamentary constitution was formed at there independence in 1966 when they were freed by vote from the U.K. After fleeing to what is now Lesotho from the par-tide and colonized with the rest of South Africa in 1875. When they fled it was manly a tribe now know as the Basotho which is why Lesotho is 95-99% Basotho. The climate is fairly wet through out the country almost all year but dries up some in the summer getting about 1,200mm of water a year and is the head waters for multiple rivers. It is mainly mountainous  and rugged with very high erosion rates from water and from human transportation routes. 


 Lesotho   Lesotho Flag 


General Information:


Official Name: Kingdom of Lesotho.

Ethnic Percents: 95-99% Basotho

Capital: Maseru.

Year of Indepedence: 1966

Government Type: Parliamentary constitutional monachy.

Population: 2.13 million (2010)

Age Structure:

0-14: 34.8% (male 373,159/female368,271)

15-64 years: 60.2% (male 629,346/female 654,054)

65 years and over: 5% (male 42,074/female 63,915) (2010 est.)

Area: 11,718 square miles; which is about the size

of Maryland.

Religons: 70% - roman catholic, 20% - are a mix of lesotho ethnical church, Seventh Day Adventists

, Anglican, 10% - Islam, indigenous beliefs.

Languages: Sesotho (southern sotho), English, Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana. 

Literacy: Total Population (82%), Male (74%), Female (90%)

Ethnic Percentages: 95-99% Basotho, 1% mixed

School life expectacy: Total population: 10 years, Male: 10 years, Female: 10 years      

Economy: The main importer of Lesotho's goods is South Africa who buys textiles, fresh water, eletricity and gives jobs to some Lesotho 

Health: Lesotho has the 3rd highest HIV/Aidsvinfection in the                                                                                   

world and the second highest death rate in the world                                                                                              

Currency: Loti     

Exchange Rate: 1 dollar - 6.9944 Loti

Natural Resources: Water, agriculture, grazing land, diamonds, and minerals

Main Exports: Textiles, fresh water, livestock, excess labor, furniture, footwear, wool

Imports: Corn, clothing, building materials, vehicles, machinery, medicines, petroleum products.  


The Lesotho National Anthem:

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  This is the Lesotho National anthem which through music shows independence. 




Timeline of the History of Lesotho:

1820s - Basutoland founded by Moshoeshoe, who unites various groups to repel challenges from Zulus.

1834 - Territorial encroachment by Boer trekkers starts decades of conflict.

1860s - Becomes a British protectorate.

1871 - Annexed to the Cape Colony without people's consent.

1884 - Becomes a British colony after revolt against Cape Colonial rule. Paramount chiefs retain large degree of autonomy.

1939-45 - World War II, with 20,000 Sotho serving in the British forces.

1950s - Political parties emerge, press for independence.


1966 - Independence as Kingdom of Lesotho, with Moshoeshoe II as king and Chief Leabua Jonathan (Basotho National Party) as prime minister.

1970 - Oppostion Basutoland Congress Party leads in polls but Chief Jonathan suspends constitution, sends king into temporary exile.

1986 - South Africa blocks borders, demanding expulsion of anti-apartheid activists. Major-General Justin Lekhanya replaces Chief Jonathan in coup. 

1990 - King Moshoeshoe II goes into exile. His son is sworn in as Letsie III.\

1991 - Lekhanya forced out by Colonel Elias Tutsoane Ramaema, who lifts ban on political activity.

1993 - Basutoland Congress Party comes to power in elections.

1994 - Fighting among rival army factions.

King Letsie III restored

1995 - Moshoeshoe II restored to throne, but dies in a car crash. Letsie III restored as king.

1997 - Basutoland Congress Party dismisses Ntsu Mokhehle as leader. He forms the Lesotho Congress of Democrats (LCD).

1998 - LCD wins general elections, Pakalitha Mosisili becomes prime minister. Opposition stages protests against results. Rioting breaks out. At government's urging the South African Development Community (SADC) sends military force to help restore order.

Multiparty Interim Political Authority is established to review the electoral process and organise next elections.

1999 May - Last of South African and Botswanan troops sent to quell 1998 unrest withdraw.

2000 February - Tens of thousands of people and heads of state attend King Letsie III's marriage to Karabo Montsoeneng at national sports stadium in Maseru.

2002 May - Masupha Sole, former head of Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, found guilty of accepting bribes from foreign construction companies in return for business on Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which supplies water to South Africa.

2002 May - Ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) wins parliamentary elections, held under new system which gives smaller parties voice in parliament. Poll endorsed by international observers but rejected by opposition as fraudulent.

Mosisili's second term

2002 June - Prime Minister Mosisili is sworn-in for a second five-year term.

2004 February - Prime Minister Mosisili declares state of emergency, appeals for food aid. Aid officials say hundreds of thousands face shortages after three-year struggle against drought.

2004 March - Official opening of first phase of multi-billion-dollar Lesotho Highlands Water Project, which supplies water to South Africa.

2005 April - First local elections since independence: Voters choose representatives for 129 local councils. Opposition parties boycott the vote and allege a lack of preparation.

2005 November - Lesotho launches programme to offer HIV tests to all citizens.

2006 October - Lesotho marks 40 years of independence from Britain with a new flag.

Former communications minister Thomas Thabane and 17 other MPs leave the ruling LCD to form the opposition All Basotho Convention (ABC).

Early elections

2006 November - Parliament dissolved ahead of early elections.

Dutch aid worker shot dead at house of Trade Minister Minister Mpho Malie, who is thought to have been the intended target. The attack is similar to one which injured Foreign Minister Monyane Moleleki and another which killed MP Bereng Sekhonyana earlier in the year.

2007 February - Ruling LCD wins early parliamentary elections, taking 61 of 80 constituencies; leader of the opposition ABC challenges the outcome.

2007 March - General strike following opposition call for action in protest over allocation of parliamentary seats.

2007 July - State of emergency declared as Lesotho experiences its most severe drought in 30 years.

2007 October - Five charged with high treason for their alleged role in attacks on the homes of the opposition leader and cabinet ministers.

2009 April - Premier Mosisili survives an apparent assassination attempt.


                                           Picture of a village in the moutains of Lesotho  

Overall Situation In Lesotho:



Crime and Corruption:

 Crime is very common in Lesotho but is mostly in the capital Maseru and towns near the south africa border. So far the threat has stayed the same since 2008 with next to nothing in improvement of stopping  the crime. The most comman form in Lesotho is non violent consisting of pick pocketing, purse snatching, car theft and breaks in. Mostly against those with wealth such as foreign officials and governmental staff, using stealth and surprise to steal. The least common form would be violent against the wealthy groups in Lesotho in the early morning. Using AK-47, knives, and other fire arms to commit the crimes and persuade the victims to cooperate. The lack of a substantial police force causes it to be hard to act against because of  their lack of resources.The corruption levels are fairly high in the political sector as well with organized "stay away" from work stoppages. Also there were some reports of intimidation tactics used during election time aimed at discouraging commercial activities and disrupting local transportation services. Causing fear and uncertainty amongst the citizens of Lesotho.  


Police Response:

The security forces in Lesotho consist of the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF), the Lesotho Mounted Police (LMPS), and the National Security Service (NSS). The LMPS is the primary agency tasked with traditional law enforcement responsibilities. The LMPS is extremely disadvantaged due to the lack of resources, equipment, manpower, and training required to effectively deter street crime and fully respond to and investigate reported crimes. Therefore, police response to citizens and visitors can be considerably limited. Response to crime is often sporadic, whether for average citizens or expatriates. It is not uncommon for victims of a crime to have to provide the police transportation to the crime scene. Long-term visitors should register with the Embassy and report to the Embassy if they are detained or arrested. The U.S. Embassy in Maseru maintains an excellent relationship with the local host country police. 


Lesotho Health Care

by Grady M.

Health care is a major issue in Lesotho and not from lack of trying to make a difference in there health care system, but because of lack of budget to cover all of the economic projects, health care and maintain a stable government. Also most of Lesotho is very remote and lacks roads in the very step terrain and mountainous areas making it very hard to provide adequate health care for those remote villages. They do have a solution of the flying doctor which is a Cessna 206 airplane equipped with a first aid kit, a stretcher, and can fit up to six passengers but only comes around every 3 weeks. In extreme cases they will fly the patients to South African hospitals for treatment. There are two main problems they are facing in Lesotho with health care one, lack of budget to pay for it and two there is hardly enough trained doctors in the country to care for all the sick. There is only one major hospital in the country and one pediatrician in the entire country. And students who leave the country to pursuer careers in the medical field hardly come back. Only about 20% come back to practice in Lesotho as doctors and there is only 4 nursing schools in the country. Making up the majority of trained medical personal in Lesotho besides health workers that serve 6000 - 10000 people per worker.The government continues to work towards creating a better health care system and strives to help the people but there are other problems such as corruption, crime, economic problems that our as well important. Sadly they are so small that there budget can not afford it all with out assistance for other counties or other organizations. Also education about these diseases is also a major problem that could help the desperate situations.


Maseru has two main medical facilities 

1. Willies Clinic

2. Maseru Private Hospital


Resources: http://www.bu.edu/today/node/7558 and http://www.lesotho.gov.is/about/health.php


 Artist Statements:    


Grady Martin's Mask   



Artist Statement

by Grady M.

Water flows down separating at the nose and continuing only to recede off the mask. Flowing off the brow of the mask going with gravity down flowing into another country. The past sits on the left changing over to the present on the other side. The eyes are gold, the mouth a blood red cross. As a whole representing the past, the present and the hopes and dream for the future of Lesotho and the Basothopeople. The blood red cross is over the mouth showing diseases and how it is slowly consuming the Lesotho people who already have the worlds 3rd highest HIV/AIDS rate. It also has a different lighter meaning showing the cross to represent the Roman Catholic church, the main religion in Lesotho. Which sometimes has greater meaning in some cultures and can be the voice and the life blood of the culture, giving it greater meaning. To the right sits a British flag smaller than the other showing the past and how obsolete it is now by the roughness and crudeness of it. Even still it has left a mark on the country. The other side is demonstrating a flag, its border not as bold and colors not as vibrant as some of the other parts. Demonstrating the parliamentary constitution that struggles to help the Lesotho people and slowly could fall apart from crime and corruption. It is on the west side for where the sun set because that is as far as the have come in their history so far. In the east the British flag sits showing the begging of there short history as country. The brow is brown for the hill and mountains and is placed in this location because it is the highest point of the mask. Blue flows down the middle showing the head waters of many rivers. Further down it splits in to two showing the two main bodies of water, the Orange River and Mohal Reservoir. Gold eyes demonstrating how they hope and dream for a bright future to come. Maybe with work they will snag it, but so far they struggle to maintain control over crime and corruption. They will need to strive for health care and educate about everything in the world than the white of the mask will be erased and the hopes filled with success. Than their history will keep going not crumble for there challenges; flowing towards a brighter and more prosperous future. Everything is easier said especially for a country that is as poor as the people barley making the ends meet.


Elizabeth Crowther's Mask 


Lesotho Mask Artist statement

By Elizabeth C.

Lesotho is a country filled with culture, but is threaten by the poor health conditions and the outbreak of Aids and HIVs. I have created by what I see Lesotho as, through research and backround. To start from the forehead, I would begin with the mountains that are places to be at the top of the country, and the terrain. From the center of the mountains there is a river flowing down to the top of the nose, for the rivers that flow through the country. On the left hand side there is a diamond surrounded by dots, which represents the main exports of the country. It is placed on the side of the face to show that it is not there greatest concern, but is one of the main helpers to their economy. On the right side there is a cross, which shows that Christianity is the majority in Lesotho, over powering the Basotho minority. Work your way down to the brim of the nose there is a triangle, which is a Basotho hat, which is the indigenous beliefs; it is also in the center of the Lesotho flag. On the far left in the middle there is a lock and a ‘no’ symbol over waves, which represents that Lesotho is a landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. I wanted to put it on the cheek bone to cover almost the whole cheek. On the other side there is a ribbon flowing down the cheek to show the Aids epidemic. The reason why the eyes are closed was because that there is a health issues around the country and are still going on after a time. The feathers on the side of the mask show the wildlife in the country. Last the colors are the colors on the Lesotho flag in that design. From the towering mountains to the cities filled with people, this is my understanding of Lesotho.

Country Masks by: Grady M, and Elizabeth C.

 Africa Poems:


The Hole in South Africa

by Grady M.


I am the heart of Southern Africa, flowing life to quench the thirst

Where the tears of Africa flow freely through rugged hills

I dream of a country not drowned by the impoverished, who starve to see another day,

Agonized by disease

Destroyed from within

But the tears flow on because they are never shed for us

Never meant for us

Always for those in die in the genocide


Sheltered from a par tide

Freed by vote from the Brits

Drenched in Crime


A police for that will crumple like paper in the test of time

We attempt to calm the waters, but a rushing: wanting country has a mind of its own


We are the heart giving the water of life away

Except what we need to live another day

We Hope

That HIV and AIDS will flow away with the tears and stop ravaging our country

But it Never Does

The life of a Nation

Our Nation,

The Basotho Nation

Hangs forever in the balance of water

The Orange River

The Mohal Reservoir

The crystal clear path of our growing country

The building blocks of US and Life

The life of Our country


I am the heart of Southern Africa flowing life to quench the thirst

Needing to act against the crime

 To suffocate the fire that will destroy us all

That we have worked so hard to build into something greater than us alone

I am the Country

Agonized by disease

Destroyed from within

Drowned by poverty


We are the dot of South Africa

Starving for a brighter future

I am Lesotho




One Country, Lesotho 

By Elizabeth C.


I am one country, small yet strong

I wonder as humans creep closer and closer to the purity of nature

I hear calls of bird echoing through the mountains

I see flowing rivers running down hilltops

I want these sights to be seen and not taken over

I am one country small yet strong


I feel the change in seasons

I touch the continuous land that surrounds me

I smell the foods of the people cooking dishes decade old

I worry for the sick and dying people without care

I cry for the citizens who suffer from famine, and diseases

I am one country, small yet strong


I understand overcoming the rule of Britain saved us

I speak of Basotho and respect

I dream of a prospering country

I try to give to all of the people inside of my borders

I hope for a bright future

I am Lesotho


Enticing Resources:


  • Lesotho's government sight provides honest info about their public programs

and has great information about the direction of the nation in their strive for a

better economy. Also their governmental programs such as health care, future

 projects. Click Here For Site 


  • The friends of Lesotho give a great cultural overview of the country

providing a vivid image of what life is like in the mountainous country 

              Click Here For Site


  • The Bu today site shows what is being done with health care and how the 

world is helping Lesotho become a healthier country and produce trained professional

to deal with the growing problem. Click Here For Site


  • This site give a vivid overview of the environmental situation in Lesotho and why

it is such a problem. Click Here For Site


  • Gives an overview of how Lesotho is teaming up with South Africa to produce a

more sustainable economy and boost Lesotho's so they can provide the public better

          Click Here For Site


Further Questions For Research:


How did modern Africa become how it is?


Who influenced it the most?


Why did everybody want Africa in midevil Europe?


How will Africa affect our future?


Will it be positive or negative?





 Thank you for Look at this Wiki page if you were wondering where we got this info here are our sources:













Other Resources:

Various Modern Maps

Comments (3)

michael a. said

at 10:31 am on Sep 28, 2010

Cool! Good Job guys!

jordan said

at 2:55 pm on Oct 27, 2010

Elizabeth and Grady great job.;j

alyssar said

at 12:52 pm on Nov 7, 2010

Wow this is really long! a lot of information! Good work!

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