Less rain create drought conditions in Thar
By: Razzak Abro
KARACHI: Less rains during this monsoon season in Sindh’s desert district, Tharparkar, created drought conditions Thar again, and local administration has informed the provincial government that inhabitants have started migration towards barrage areas.
Deputy Commissioner, Tharparkar, has sent a detailed report to the provincial government’s authorities in which he termed situation of the area as an alarming, and sought immediate intervention of the provincial authorities. The district administration has also recommended the provincial government to declare affected dehs of the district as calamity-hit area.
Following the development, Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister on Relief, Haleem Adil Shaikh, has sent a summary to Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah for taking notice of the situation. He recommended the chief minister to take steps for providing immediate relief to the local population. Earlier, the relief department sought a comprehensive report about drought conditions in Thar for the last 20 years. Following his letter, commissioner Mirpurkhas Division informed senior member Board of Revenue, on August 17 that the Deputy Commissioner, Tharparkar, has sent ‘an alarming report’ regarding famine conditions in the district.
“Tharparkar, a desert district, where life depends on rains, is suffering from an acute shortage of rains this year, which may, if not given timely attention, lead to famine conditions”, the Commissioner, Mirpurkhas, further wrote in his letter. He also recommended an immediate action in this connection.
In his report, the deputy commissioner Tharparkar has portrayed a drastic picture of the area. He stated that due to initial shower in the monsoon some of the local growers had started preparations for cultivation of their agricultural lands. But due to lack of more rains in the season they have become hopeless and started migration from the area.
“Mostly growers/inhabitants of the desert area have started migration to barrage areas with their cattle to earn the livelihood, the deputy commissioner further stated in his letter. According to him, out of total 166 dehs of the district Tharparkar, only nine are in barrage area of talukas Diplo and Mithi, and rest of 157 dehs are located in barrani (desert) area, depending on rains. In his letter, the deputy commissioner, Tharparkar has recommended the Sindh government to declare all desert dehs as calamity hit area, by granting them remission in revenue taxes during Kharif, postponing recovery of all kinds of government dues till next Kharif crop season, providing them wheat and fodder at subsidized rates.
According to his report, the district is mostly deserted and consists of barren tract of the sand dunes covered with thorny bushes. The ridges are irregular and roughly parallel that often closed shattered valleys, which they raised to a height to some 46 meters.
According to previous 20 years historical trend of droughts in Tharparkar district, the region was continuously declared as drought-hit area in 1968, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2005 and also in 2007. Recently, it is seen that indigenous population of Tharparkar is migrating due to fall of sweet water in wells and other natural water resources, and its expected that districts Tharparkar may face drought situation.
According to the report, this year the rainfall discharge has remarkably come down 91% as per weighted departure of precipitation as compared to normal rainfall in Sindh, this situation has indicated catastrophic conditions in Tharparkar district.
According to the report people are migrating to Barrage Areas for more availability of food and fodder. This would definitely impact allot to barrage areas and increase the need of drinking water, food and fodder for their livestock. The relief department intends to establish camps, provide pure drinking water, food and other medical and essential facilities to the affected population. According to the department, an expected 1.4 million population may be affected in migration and their livestock is most vulnerable to scarcity of water and fodder.