The Reasons for Severe Effects of Drought in Thar

Abid Rehman Nohario
CBDRM Specialist Tharparkar

simple public of Tharparkar keep their eyes up in the sky for wandering clouds to rain, because their livelihood depends upon rains, if rainy clouds run away without raining than unhappiness and grieves of peoples of thar increases because their agriculture and domestic animals gets severely affected which are their major sources of income and they totally depend upon timely rains, Rain failures cause the drought conditions in area and in these conditions foodstuff for community and fodder for animals turn out to be extremely difficult to get and they have to migrate to barrage areas for searching the food for family by harvesting or for labor and fodder for their domestic animals ,Before and During long travel to barrage areas their many thin and weak animals die, their food stoves remain closed due to unavailability of flour for three times cooking, and in the process mall nutrition creeps up among women, children’s and old age persons .
Previous year due to lowest and inappropriate rains drought had occurred in Thaparkar district, more than 250 kids had died due to mall nutrition. There are many reasons which have increased the drought effects from common low level to high level in Thaparkarr, According to government rules in case of rain failure till mid of the August that area should have been declared as disaster hit and relief activities should have been started but in Tharparkar when low rains happened till 15th August proper disaster management actions were not taken by the government and due to mismanagement of district government wheat remained locked in the grain stores and was not distributed among the population.
In this modern era by taking pre disaster management actions severe effects of disasters can either be controlled or be reduced, Residents of Tharparkar themselves had already taken important pre drought measures for keeping the effects at low level.
Before 1980 in Tharparkar people have no other cash earning resources for meeting their both ends apart from their domestic animals which they used to exchange for wheat at those times in case of droughts their animals mostly had to die and they had to face the severe effects of droughts.

After 1980 they came out with those alternative solutions of livelihood which could earned cash for facing drought effects, for that purpose most of youths from Tharparkar left to big cities like Karachi, Hyderabad in the search of the jobs and they were engaged in garment factories, cooks in houses, government jobs in sectors of Education, health, police and army and in that ways they earned cash for their families, hence the severe effects of drought were at controllable level for last three decades.
Before 1980 in Tharparkar the trend was for keeping big animals like camels, cows and horses which needed big quantity of fodder which was very expensive and at the time of droughts people failed to fulfill that big fodder so after 1980 they realized it and found an alternative solution for that by keeping small animals like goats and sheep which needed less amount of fodder and they were more productive which also reduced the effects of droughts in recent past but this year their domestic animals had died so the severe effects had arised.
in this modern era of global world trends of living and priorities of peoples of Tharparkar had also changed ,more than 75% population of Tharparkar use addictions from simple addictions to dangerous raw wine and these addictions had also raised their expenses and persons with addictions persons do not go for labor or for the jobs; For social events like marriages and funerals they arrange big ceremonials by taking loans on high interest rates and they fail to repay these loans till a long period which had left them financially and economically backward.
Recently in Pakistan Pakistan inflation had increased at high level but the wages or salaries of employees and labors had not risen, so earned cash from employees or labors of Tharparkar had failed to meet their both ends.
From health point of view Thari peoples have to face many issues and problems, the major reason for health issues is improper salty water with traces of arsenic and other chemicals. The most of diseases which are faced by peoples of Tharparkar are mall nourishment, Bone and joint diseases, hepatitis, Tuberculosis ,kidney diseases, skin diseases ,diphtheria ,malaria and gynecological diseases and main reasons which cause these diseases are lack of hospitals ,shortage of doctors and medicines, no vaccination for women and children, women pull water up from deep wells and carry weighty water pots on their heads, high traces of arsenic in water, No trained birth attendants ,high fesses of private doctors , treatment by un professional doctors and cleanliness.
One realistic cause for high mortality rate is that in Tharparkar 90 percent households have no knowledge to check the temperature by thermometer, so for long time they fail to identify their sickness and when they identify that becomes complicated and patients reach in hospital incurable stages and mostly they have to die..
One major problem in the development of Thaparkar is the Education system, Situation of education in Tharparkar is very alarming , on one hand for that teachers are responsible which are either missing persons ,taxi drivers or shop keepers ,secondly politicians who use them for their election campaigns andfor their personal goals ,in case of some actions against them they defend them; Officers are also responsible who accept bribes from teachers and leave them free from duties, in this case at some extent parents are also responsible who either use their children in agriculture or livestock.
Poverty is the ultimate outcome of above all issues and other reasons for that are lack of skills, unemployment, high birth rates, lack of resources and low wages.
Above all discussed issues had reduced the drought coping capacities of peoples of Tharparkar
Now it is the responsibility of government and other donor agencies that they do not rely only on relief activities but they must start development activities inthe sectors of livelihood, health and education so that Thari peoples should not be the reflection of miseries in the future.