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Earth Observation Product for Lesotho


Water is a limited resource in Lesotho. Consequently, there is an increasing demand for the monitoring of snow conditions in order to improve long-term planning and water resource management. The Project ‘Earth Observation Product for Lesotho’ aims at improving the understanding of snow cover variability in Lesotho by providing an easy to use snow product based on satellite data.

Project start12.08.2014
Project end12.06.2015
StatusCompleted projects
  • Research & cooperation
  • Climate


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Swiss federal authoritiesSwiss federal authorities

Water is crucial for human health, food production and livestock as well as an important source of export earnings for the country of Lesotho. Snow cover represents an essential water storage to Lesotho’s limited and economically critical water resources. A better understanding of interannual snow cover variations can help to improve water resource management.

Snow cover product for Lesotho

Within the project an easy-to-use and accurate snow cover product for local stakeholders and World Bank Task Teams is developed. It is based on satellite data and comprises the areal extent of snow cover for the period 2000-2013. To ensure that the product is tailored to the users’ needs, the development process is closely accompanied by a user dialogue. An on-site training session will further build users’ capacities in the use of the provided snow cover product.

Project set-up

The project is part of the “Earth Observation for Development - eoworld” initiative – a collaboration between the European Space Agency ESA and the World Bank. Recognizing the value of using Earth observation to support development activities, the initiative aims to mainstream the use of satellite data. The project is funded by ESA and implemented by the Federal Offi­ce of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss (coordination) in collaboration with the University of Bern (implementing partner).