The Kingdom of Lesotho is made up mostly of highlands, where many of the villages can be reached only on horseback, by foot or light aircraft.
Resources are scarce – a consequence of the harsh environment of the highland plateau and limited agricultural space in the lowlands. The former British protectorate has been heavily dependent on the country which completely surrounds it – South Africa.
Over the decades thousands of workers have been forced by the lack of job opportunities to find work at South African mines. The Lesotho Highlands Water Project was completed in the 1990s to export water to South Africa.
Lesotho has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, with one in five adults living with HIV, and more infections per 100,000 people than most other countries, including neighbouring Namibia, Botswana and Eswatini.
Facts about Lesotho:
- Capital: Maseru
- Area: 30,355 sq km
- Population: 2.2 million
- Languages: Sesotho, English
- Life expectancy: 51 years (men) 57 years (women)
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