Water scarcity is a major issue in the agriculture-dependent Umerkot District, Pakistan. Water runs through the areas on fixed intervals which are insufficient to meet the farming communities’ needs. Food insecurity has subsequently become a prevalent problem for this and other districts in Sindh Province.
During the first six months of its Umerkot Food Security Project, CWS-P/A completed the construction of five irrigation ponds that benefit five villages. The ponds are used to store the water so that farmers are able to regularly irrigate their lands despite the long intervals of up to one month when water does not flow to their villages.
The care and maintenance of the irrigation ponds will be managed by the farmers through established Village Development Committees. A member of the Ghumano VDC commented, “This is the first time something like this pond has been made for the benefit of farmers. I am also a member of the pond’s caretaking committee. I hope I will be able to increase the cultivation land area with the availability of water.” By giving the community ownership and encouraging participation, the project’s sustainability is substantially increased. CWS-P/A experienced similar successes in its Mirpurkhas Food Security Project which started two years ago.
CWS-P/A’s Umerkot Food Security Project is supported by Canadian Foodgrains Bank.