History of Drought in Tharparkar Region:
Drought has become a frequent phenomenon in the Pakistan especially, in Sindh due to an increase in pollution and climatic changes. According to a report issued by the Economic Survey of Pakistan, the drought is one of the factors responsible for poor growth performance in the country. Drought is common in Pakistan if there are no rains during the monsoon season.
The drought of 1998-2002 has been considered the worst drought in the last 50 years in the history of Pakistan. It started in 1997 as El-Nino developed, but gained intensity in 1998 and reached its peak in 2000 till 2001 and thus gradually weakened in 2002.
In Sindh, 127 people died during that time, mostly in the Tharparkar region near the Indian border, as a result of severe water shortages and dehydration, nearly 60% of the population of Sindh migrated to irrigated land.
Drought and starvation have continuously prevailed in District Tharparkar since the last three months. They have claimed 121 human lives so far and hundreds of thousands have been compelled to migrate while, wild life is on the verge of elimination.
According to sources, 38 children died of malnutrition in the Mithi taluka hospital in December 2013, and there were 42 deaths in January, 36 in February; and there have been five deaths in March till date.
The precarious condition is adversely affecting the life of local residents and compelling them to leave the area but neither federal or nor provincial authorities have paid any heed to redress their grievances. People in need of aid have requested the concerned authorities to provide them with food on an emergency basis so that further deaths could be avoided.
Reports said starvation and drought have gravely affected pregnant women and children as well and if emergency measures are not taken, a human dilemma could result in the near future.
CWS-P/A is closely monitoring the situation and is in contact with the local partners and authorities to get updated information about any new developments. CWS-P/A’s emergency response team is on standby to start its emergency response activities, should any need arise to respond to the situation.