The community of Qoaling Village in the outskirts of the
Maseru Capital City, were encourage to grow their gardens in
curbing the scourge of food insecurity that has rampaged
much of the Qoaling area in recent years. The demonstration
was undertaken by Rural Self-help Development Association (RSDA),
one of the many member NGOs of the Lesotho Council of NGOs (LCN)
during the hunger march occasion that took place on
Wednesday 24th November 2010 commencing from LCN offices
through to the chief of Qoaling place.
The community members who had come in throngs witnessed on
the demonstration on how to grow vegetables on a small space
given that most of the urban places do not have much space
to grow any crops. At the same occasion the Principal Chief
Mr. Khoabane Theko also rolled out his sleeves and planted a
tree not only to mark the landmark occasion but also to
continue on the quest to implore upon the villagers that its
time they acted against food insecurity by growing
vegetables themselves; not to wait for government handouts.
The growing of crops demonstration was preceded by a number
of presentations from LCN President, Mr. Lira Theko, Member
of Parliament (MP) for Qoaling and the Actionaid
International Lesotho, country coordinator Mr. Seabata
LCN members marching in an effort to raise awareness
about urban areas food insecurity. The march
commenced from LCN to Qoaling moreneng.
Nonetheless, the landmark presentation came from Associate
Professor Resetselemang Leduka from the National University
of Lesotho (NUL) Institute of Southern African Studies (ISAS)
who did a study on Maseru urban food security in 2008. The
study as indicated by the Professor revealed that urban
areas are as much ravaged by food insecurity as rural areas.
“Food insecurity is no more a rural challenge only, the
urban areas as much threatened by this problem. Thus,
although the significant number of urban households secured/
purchased their food, but over 27% obtained food from other
sources involving non-purchase such as depending on the good
will of other households. About 0.8% were recipients of food
aid”, he said.
Professor Leduka further said that as a result of food price
increase a significant percentage of households in the urban
areas have had to go without food for varying periods in the
past six months because they could not afford it. Nearly
23.5% have had to go without food everyday while about 30.5%
for more than once a week.
The study was conducted at Maseru Capital believed to be
populated at about 230 000 people while the sample of 800
households was drawn from two 2006 census constituencies
(33&34). Lesotho citizens are estimated at about 2 Million
people. The sample was drawn from the Maseru unplanned
neighbourhoods consisting of mixed income groups. The sample
was meant to capture as many poor households as possible.
These villages include Qoaling, Lithoteng, Ha Seoli, Ha
Shelile, Tsoapo-le-Bolile and Semphetenyane.
Besides the findings of the study, the purpose of the hunger
march was part of the activities that LCN is undertaking to
mark its celebration of 20th Anniversary as the umbrella
body for the NGOs in the country and the council wanted to
add its voice on the ongoing global campaign on the
attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG),
specifically the MDG 1 on ‘Eradication of extreme poverty
The hunger march was organized in collaboration with
Actionaid International Lesotho, an organization focus its
activities in relation to eradication of and ensuring of