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Help Lesotho, says Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Mutsu Potsane, 4, plant a fruit tree.
Prince Harry and Mutsu Potsane, 4, plant a fruit tree.

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Prince Harry

LONDON, England -- Britain's Prince Harry, on a two-month working trip to Lesotho, says the tiny African kingdom needs help as it fights AIDS, poverty and drought.

"It's not a place that everybody really knows about," Harry told reporters at an orphanage about 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the capital Maseru, one of a series of charity projects Harry has taken on since arriving in the landlocked country on February 13.

The 19-year-old prince -- whose London nightlife adventures have made tabloid headlines -- said he hoped his visit would result in more British aid being sent to Lesotho, where up to one third of the people are believed to be HIV positive and drought has caused serious food shortages.

"Recognition from people back in England, charities in England, to recognize Lesotho as somewhere that needs help. They haven't got enough help yet," he said.

The younger son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana is spending two months working in Lesotho as part of a year off after school that earlier took him to an Australian ranch.

At an official photo opportunity on Wednesday, Harry -- wearing an England rugby shirt -- tried his hand at fixing fences and planted a tree as some 50 journalists and banks of television cameras looked on.

He described his time in Lesotho as "really good fun" and said the people appeared happy despite their many problems.

Harry's host, Lesotho's Prince Seeiso, said the kingdom hoped the visit would "improve our profile" but also that he would take home a personal interest in the country.

"Amongst other things that I hope he can take away from Lesotho is some personal attachment, not only to the country at large, but to individuals that he is working with," Seeiso said.

The media has largely honored official requests not to hound Harry in Africa following reports he considered returning home from Australia because of prying journalists.

Harry's African adventure follows a three-month stint at a ranch in the Australian outback where he worked as a farm hand.

Two years ago, Harry was widely reported to have indulged in underage drinking and smoking marijuana. His father sent him to a London rehabilitation clinic for a day so he could see the dangers of drug use.

Prince Harry has chosen a military career and is due to enter Sandhurst military academy after his time off.

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