Strengthening climate change and disaster statistics to improve Lesotho's resilience
Lesotho is a small, landlocked country in Southern Africa that has a high risk to natural hazards including floods, drought, frost, strong winds, and heavy snowfall.
In response to an official request received from the Bureau of Statistics of Lesotho, a National Workshop on Climate Change and Disaster-related Statistics was held in Maseru, Lesotho 31 October to 2 November 2023. This workshop was organized by the UNDRR, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) in collaboration with the Bureau of Statistics and Disaster Management Authority of Lesotho.
The workshop highlighted that to ensure efficient policies and practices to reduce disaster risks, knowledge building and governance must be done in coordination for example through centralization of data. The workshop brought together 32 participants from the Bureau of Statistics, Lesotho Meteorological Services, Ministry of Natural Resources, Maseru City Council, Ministry of Agriculture, and other UN organizations. International requirements and frameworks related to environment and disaster-related statistics and policy were discussed and assessed against national experience.
“This workshop was an important first step to strengthen the collaboration and facilitate the exchange of ideas between all the relevant government agencies and is going to improve our literacy and how we communicate these data to our stakeholders.”- Malehloa Celina Molato, Director of Bureau of Statistics of Lesotho
Notably, the participation of a representative from Eswatini’s National Disaster Management Authority on Eswatini’s data collection experience further enriched the learning process given the similar contextual disposition of the two countries.
“The similar contexts of Lesotho and Eswatini has led to a more nuanced learning experience and this opportunity to learn from each other was invaluable. Through this workshop, I have identified several improvements through this learning to be implemented back in Eswatini that are contextual and evidence backed.” - Bonkhe Mchobokazi, National Disaster Management Authority of Eswatini.
The workshop in Lesotho served as a catalyst for increased cooperation and collaboration between various governmental ministries, departments, and agencies. It led to the identification and establishment of collaboration structures, self-assessment tools approaches that can be taken forward in Lesotho’s progress towards climate change and disaster-related statistics.
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