Thanks to your very generous support, we’ve raised over £65,000 with our Emergency Appeal. This means we've been able to help even more people in Lesotho not only survive the current drought but also thrive in future challenges. Sheila Taylor, Farming Systems Manager at Send a Cow, explains what’s been going on since our appeal began…

The rain eventually came again in Lesotho after a long wait of nine months. It was a small amount and very late, but there was a real exuberance at the return of grey clouds – not a reaction people are used to in the UK!

The rain came too late for maize to be planted with winter approaching, so there won’t be much of it in the store-houses this year. But many Send a Cow farmers have managed to use their knowledge and skills to keep vegetables growing throughout the dry weather.

The skills they had learned with Send a Cow – enriching the soil so it could hold more water, mulching, trench gardening – meant they were able to produce food when many other people couldn’t. So they’ve managed to feed themselves and, now that the rain has come and they can increase production, they’re able to sell on their surplus.

Mampolokeny Litsebe showed us her gardens. Situated to catch any available run-off from the path above, they are mulched and shaded from the fierce sun of the extended drought.  She and other SAC farmers have kept their gardens going with 'grey' (reused) water from their homes, pouring it carefully onto the gardens, under the mulch, to minimise water loss.

These are the skills and knowledge we’re able to pass on to even more people thanks to your support of our Lesotho appeal. Empowering people like this is crucial.

Climatic shocks and extremes are likely to get more frequent and the ability to thrive through these times will come from diverse, productive, well-managed farms.

Further good news and support came from the Farm World Company in Lesotho which generously donated 600kg of rye grass seeds. These were distributed to 400 Send a Cow households, which after planting, will provide an excellent source of fodder for livestock, ensuring that not only are families eating well, but their animals are too.  

The owner of Farm World Company (dressed in green) distributes seeds to farmers in Qoqolosing, Lesotho

So thank you for your support! It has already raised more than £65,000. And we know there is more to come, thanks to our friends at Dolen Cymru, whose appeal is still running. We’ll keep you posted…