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Baseer Ahmad, resident of Village Kikri, Mipur Azad Kashmir. His father passed away in the earthquake.

Large areas of the District Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), were jolted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019, by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake with a depth of only 10 km. The area experienced frequent aftershocks; the strongest, with a magnitude of 4.8, occurred on Thursday, September 26 and injured an additional 70 people. Two districts, Mirpur and Bimber, which are home to an estimated 876,824 people, suffered large scale damages. Recent information from the Office of the Commissioner stated that 10,500 families in Mirpur and Bimber alone have been affected by the earthquake; this information has been verified by the Natural Disaster Consortium’s initial assessment.[1]

As per the NDC’s report, 37 people in Mirpur lost their lives, and 579 people, including children and women, were injured. Heavy jolts damaged shelters and infrastructure as well as badly affected livelihoods. The NDC stated that a total of 9,000 houses have been affected; of these, 2,000 are fully destroyed and 6,000 are partially damaged. The houses with partial damage have major structural damage, requiring more than minor repair. Additionally, 50 acres of land has become uncultivable. Boreholes, which are the main drinking water sources in the affected areas, have been disturbed and contaminated; since the earthquake, turbidity has been reported in the drinking water. Health issues among the affected population have included had vomiting after drinking water from the same sources. Household and non-food items in the target area have also been destroyed, people are in need of food and many are living under open sky or with family. Their situation has worsened with the recent monsoon rains, which will continue into October 2019.

The infrastructure in Kashmir is very weak in context of the strong earthquakes it faces. The villages and small towns of the hardest-hit districts are amongst the poorest; the majority of the population relies on agriculture, daily wages or are caretakers of houses and have very low salaries. The Government has initiated the damage assessment of the area, but due to resource limitation, it has mainly prioritized and focused on infrastructure damages. The Government has been very forthcoming in providing assistance but again owing to resource limitation and level of damages it is not managed to cover all sectors.

Community World Service Asia, with support from the Start Network and the Act Alliance Rapid Response Fund, is supporting affected communities with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support. In the short term, communities in the affected areas are also in critical need of shelter/winterized tents, food, non-food items, safe drinking water, health interventions and psychosocial support. In the long term, recovery and rehabilitation support will be required for rehabilitation of their shelters, revitalization of their livelihoods, school rehabilitation and WASH support.

“It is difficult for me to go through this situation as I never thought I would be one day sitting under a tent, in need for assistance. This experience of the earthquake thought me an important lesson that there are kind people everywhere in this world. Humanitarian workers from different NGOs came to provide assistance.”

Shazia, resident of Kikri Village, Mirpur District

“It was around 4:00 P.M. when the earthquake occurred. I was in my shop when I received a call that my house has collapsed and my family was in the house. I fainted at the sight of my collapsed house. I came to know my family was safe after two hours of unconsciousness.”

Rukhsaar, Kikri Village, Mirpur

[1] The Natural Disaster Consortium (NDC) is a consortium funded by DFID; its members include national, international and UN agencies.

At least 38 people have been killed and 614 injured (160 reportedly in critical condition) in a devastating earthquake that rocked Bhimber and Mirpur Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Jhelum and other districts in Punjab and parts of KP on September 24, 2019 at around 4 o’clock.

The epicenter of the 5.8-magnitude quake was near the city of Mirpur, 22 kilometers (14 miles) north of the city of Jhelum along the boundary separating the agricultural heartland of Punjab province and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, the US geological agency, USGS, said.

As aftershocks continued to rock the region, many left their homes and spent the night on the roadside or in parks.

Rescue operations have been carried out by the Pakistan army and are about to complete while the relief activities have also started led by Army and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) through local government.

The Prime Minister of Pakistani Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, told reporters that infrastructure had been destroyed. Roads, mobile phone towers and electricity poles in the area were badly damaged.

454 houses with 135 severely and 319 have been partially damaged however, the figures are expected to be increased with the information pouring in from the inaccessible areas.

Due to the damages occurred to the infrastructure, some of the affected areas have not yet been reachable and information from those areas are yet to be arrived.

Confirmed by the Deputy Commissioner of Mirpur, almost 70% of the houses structure in the Mirpur city have been damaged due to the earthquake and the communities are avoiding residing inside these cracked houses.

He further shared that tents, blankets, drinking water and food items are the immediate top priority needs of the affected communities.

Community World Service Asia Response:
Community World Service Asia is in contact with the local government and other stakeholders active in the area. Its emergency response team is on standby and can start the relief operations immediately if required.

Contacts:

Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organizational Development
Email: hi2shama@cyber.net.pk
Tele: 92-21-34390541-3 

Zunaira Shams
Sr. Communications Officer
Email: zunaira.shams@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 12 34390541-3 

Sources:
theguardian.com
tribune.com.pk
thenews.com.pk

Representative of University of Agriculture Tando Jam delivering a presentation.

Water scarcity is one of the main challenges for communities in the Thar Desert, which also includes almost half of Umerkot district. During field operations, Community World Service Asia and partners observed significant negative impact on the lives and well-being of the local communities from chronic water shortage and drought, putting these communities at high risk. Their main sources of income are agriculture and livestock, which are totally dependent on the availability of water. Owing to these issues, Community World Service Asia is partnering with Community World Service Japan (CWS Japan) and Japan Conservation Engineers & Company Limited (JCE) to implement an emergencies project to enhance drought-related disaster resilience by improving access to water and supporting drought-resilient agricultural practices in Umerkot district.

Under this project, the partners organized a one-day workshop on August 30, 2019, to determine how various stakeholders within government and non-government organizations can better coordinate to resolve these issues. Key questions to explore included how to determine the best locations for well digging; how technologies can be used to identify potential areas for aquafers; and how communities and relevant government departments can support the maintenance of these resources to make them more sustainable.

The training drew an estimated 25 participants from government departments such as the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Arid Zone Agriculture Research Institute (AZRI), Extension Department, Pakistan Meteorological Department, Sindh University of Tando Jam, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh, Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), and Water Management Department as well as staff from Community World Service Asia.

Mir Hassan from Community World Service Asia started the workshop with an overview of the project and its stakeholders. During the training, the participating government agencies were given a chance to share about their roles, responsibilities and achievements in the field of disaster management to highlight best practices and find synergies in support of the at-risk communities. Representatives from PDMA Sindh, Sindh University of Tando Jam and Pakistan Metrological Department began by presenting their work and areas of expertise.

Then the lead trainer, Takeshi Komino of CWS Japan, shared the findings of the field visit with the workshop participants and discussed where collaboration is required to address the water-related issues of the communities. He also shared how potential areas for digging wells can be determined in cheaper and more appropriate ways using technology and how Electrical Resistivity Surveys can be done at specific locations to get clean water.

Then the representative from PDMA Sindh, Ajay Kumar, shared about their mandate and the response they have extended to the drought-affected communities to date. The representative of the Sindh University of Tando Jam, Arshad Narejo, followed by sharing about their work in the field of Disaster Risk Management. Then a representative from the Pakistan Meteorological Department, Abid Laghari, shared about their research and existing resources and how one can efficiently utilize meteorological data to minimize a community’s vulnerability to drought and other disasters.

The workshop was concluded with a note of thanks by Komino for the participants’ collaboration and expertise in service to the communities affected by the drought.

Mai Kenkoo, a 70-year-old elderly grandmother to four young children, lives in the remote, drought-struck village of Ramsar[1] with her son and his family. The family managed their expenses well with harvesting two acres of agricultural land that Mai Kenkoo owned. Her daughter-in-law worked to manage their land’s agricultural output and cattle which sufficiently fed the family and allowed them to save money to pay for the education of three of their elder children[2].

Life, however, became difficult for Mai’s family when severe drought hit the region and Ramsar village in September last year 2018. The area had been frequently affected by droughts in recent years, but the latest one had a more severe impact on the people living here. For more than a year, Mai’s family has not grown anything eatable. Mai remembered her deceased husband,

Not only were we better off when he was around but also it was less difficult to cope with the rigors of life in drought-stricken conditions.

 Her husband who was a cobbler and was a support system for their family until he passed away in 2009.

The old couple only had one son and no other children to call their own. Their son was diagnosed with tuberculosis a few years ago and treated with incorrect medicines which further exacerbated his health. Mai’s son works as a cobbler for a living and mended rubber skinned water gallons commonly used for fetching water in the area. His monthly income is between PKR 800 -1000 (approx. USD 6). His wife works on handicraft production from her house and embroiders ethnic Sindhi caps for the local community on order. Through this, she earns an average monthly income of PKR 3000-4000 (approx. USD 25). Before the drought, she was also engaged in farming activities on their land.

Since mid of last year, there were no yields from our fields. My daughter-in-law worked hard but could not grow a single crop without water. Her health started deteriorating too and was unable to breast-feed my youngest grandchildren. The children’s health suffered too. There wasn’t enough food to feed them.  They felt weak and refused to walk to school. I could see the weakness on their face. None of us were able to fill our stomachs well. And there was nothing to save for future meals or to sell-off. My son’s health also worsened as good nutrition fights back his illness but there was not enough food to keep him healthy anymore. He had to stop working due to his worsening health.

The drought had affected the health of their livestock.

With no rain and the continuing dry spell for two years, we had no fodder or water to feed our cattle. They had become like skeletons and we eventually lost them to malnutrition,

narrated Mai. With the leftover farm animals (four goats and a donkey), currently, the family’s daily needs are met with the fresh produce of the cattle. Mai’s goats and donkey graze on dried sunflowers receptacles that grow wild around their land which saves their fodder expenses and gives the donkey enough energy to fetch drinking water for the family[3].

While Mai’s two elder grandsons, seven and eight years old, are off from school for summer vacation, they fetch water as they place a tire-shaped rubber water gallon on their donkey on a three-kilometer (one-way) ride.  The water they fetch is used for the family’s drinking and cooking needs of a day. When their school was on, this task was carried by either of their parents. Water for animals is sought from a nearby approachable tube-well the quality of which is bitter in taste.

Mai shared that her grandchildren’s primary education is free, but the family’s income is insufficient to meet even their household expenses. In times of illness or medical emergencies, they cannot afford the travel expenses to go to hospitals or buy medicines.

To respond to the severe drought conditions in rural Sindh, Community World Service Asia launched its emergency food assistance project, supported by Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) and PWS&D, in Umerkot district of Sindh in March this year.  The project aims to assist 1600 households affected by drought through the distribution of one-month food packages between March and August 2019. Some of these households belong to Ramsar village. Mai’s family is selected as a participant of this emergency food-security project.

God has now provided us a means to food through this project. We are coming out of difficult times and not only get to eat three meals a day but are also able to save for later. In the past, we not only worry about our own meals but also for that of the cattle.  Now we only worry for their survival. Worrying about providing meals for the family lead to a lot of tension among people at our home and in the neighborhood. Tension impacts our ability to do other work also,

stated Mai.

Water scarcity is a common problem in most villages of Umerkot. Rural women carrying matkas[4] on their heads and young boys riding donkey carts to fetch water long distances away are an everyday sight here. But with no water at all and the long droughts, it is becoming difficult for these agrarian rural communities to survive. Mai highlights other issues crippling the already resource challenged community, such as increasing unemployment and lack of nearby health facilities, especially for women. She remembers facing these problems here since she was a young girl but with time she feels the conditions have worsened.

This humanitarian drought response project not only supports provision of food inputs to communities but also ensures sustainability of livelihood beyond the project period through distribution of millet (baajra) seeds in its fourth round of distribution for the upcoming sowing season. These millet seeds will be cultivated and will provide the families a source of agricultural output in the months to follow.

My daughter-in-law will cultivate the seeds. If it rains, we will be self-reliant for our food needs. I have faith in God, he will do better for us,

 hoped Mai.


[1] Located 45 kilometers from Umerkot city.
[2] They walked to their school which was half a kilometer away from their home
[3] Water had to be fetched from a well it was 3 kilometers away from their house.
[4] Sand-made jars

The emergency food security and nutrition project launched in March 2019, supported by the Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) and the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB, is assisting 1,600 most vulnerable drought affected families in Umerkot district of Sindh province in Pakistan. Through the project, these disaster-hit families are supported with food distribution and nutritional programs that will last for six months.

The low rainfall has triggered a drought situation in the southern parts of Sindh Province. The districts have not receive any significant rainfall in the monsoon seasons resulting in a long dry spell.  The Pakistan Metrological Department released a drought alert in September declaring Umerkot and seven other districts of Sindh as severely drought affected areas. As per the assessment conducted by National Disaster Consortium (NDC), comprising of International Organization for Migration (IOM), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), ACTED and Hands, District Umerkot was identified as one of the worst drought affected districts in Sindh with 31,390 affected families in 25 Dehs (A deh is an area composed of number of small villages). The assessment results of NDC for district Umerkot revealed that as per the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), approximately 72% of the surveyed households in Umerkot are moderate to severe food insecure while 28% are severely food insecure.

In the third week of June, the third round of the project’s food distribution was successfully completed in four different locations, reaching hundreds of drought-affected families from twenty-two villages of Umerkot District. Most of the affected families, who have solely been dependent on agricultural income, were also provided with millet seeds, sufficient to cultivate two acres of land, for the next sowing season to provide a more sustainable means of economic support and to improve their food security conditions. . To ensure easy accessibility, the distribution points were selected in consultation with local communities.

Food packages distributed under this project are developed in line with the minimum standards outlined by Sphere for food security. Meeting these standards, the food packages designed and distributed ensured the provision of 2,100 kilocalories for each person daily. The package includes 60kgs of wheat flour, 15kgs of Rice, 7kgs of pulses, 4kgs of sugar, 6liters of cooking oil, 400g of tea leaves, 800g of iodized salt and a pack of 10 matchboxes.

In response to the severe climate change lead drought in the Sindh and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan, Community World Service Asia activated its emergency food security and nutrition project in Umerkot last month. This initiative, which is supported by the Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) and the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB), aims to assist 1,600 most vulnerable drought affected families through food distribution and nutritional programs for six months.

Since most of the affected families belong to purely agrarian communities, millet seeds will also be distributed among them for the next sowing season to ensure their nutritional and livelihood sustainability. The first round of this project’s food distribution was conducted during the last week of April at four different villages, namely Rohiraro, Bhadi, Dhalo Jo Tarr and Ramsar, in Umerkot District. The distribution points were selected in consultation with the local communities to ensure easy access for all selected project participants.

Food packages distributed under this project are developed using the Sphere minimum standards for food security which ensures the provision of 2,100 kilo calories per person per day. The package includes 60kgs of wheat flour, 15kgs of Rice, 7kgs of pulses, 4kgs of sugar, 6liters of cooking oil, 400g of tea leaves, 800g of iodized salt and a pack of 10 matchboxes for every family until they start harvesting their own produce. These families will also be provided16kgs of millet crop seed in June.

Community Voices:

“During the last few months, our family could barely afford three meals a day as due to our poor financial conditions. We had limited availability of food at home, most of which was borrowed at high interest rates. The small amount of money that my four daughters earn by embroidering traditional Sindhi caps is not enough to even cover the expense of my medicines as I am a patient of Epilepsy. A few days ago my husband fractured his hand in an accident, increasing our problems and expenses further. In this difficult time, the food aid provided to us through this project has been a blessing for our family.  The quality of food has been good and will be sufficient to serve my family three meals a day for more than a month. We are hopeful that there will be a good downpour this year and we will have sufficient harvest from our fields.”

Reshama, wife of Kirshan, resident of Ranhar village, UC Kaplore, Umerkot District

“The past two years have been very difficult for my family as there have been limited work opportunities in the area and there have been no harvests from our fields. We have bee surviving with limited resources. Access to food has been challenging. My elder son earns a meager income which is not sufficient to provide food to a six-member family thrice a day. Some community members lend us food sometimes.

We are now eating three meals daily for four consecutive days as a result of the food assistance provided under the food aid project. The food items received from the team are of good quality and quantity. I am glad to see my children sleeping with their stomachs full.”

Kheian, wife of Pargho, residing in Ranhar village, UC Kaplore, Umerkot District

“Due to my physical disability, I manage and try to earn through the little livestock we own. Providing basic necessities for my family of eight people was becoming very difficult. The drought in the area further worsened our living conditions, making our lives more difficult. We barely had any means of income or food. We were not even able to migrate to other areas due to lack of resources.  In order to feed my family, I had to sell some of my livestock, leaving me with only three goats. The situation was getting worst by the day. My miseries came to an end when Community World Service Asia came knocking at my door to provide food assistance. The food package provided is enough to meet the food needs of my family for an entire month.”

Chander Singh, resident of Bhadi village, UC Kaplore, Umerkot District

The low rainfall trend in the last five years  in Pakistan has resulted in drought conditions in most of southern Pakistan, where the Pakistan Metrological Department expects a further escalation of the drought condition in the following four years. The low or no rainfall has resulted in acute shortages of water, food and livestock fodder which has further damaged the food security, nutrition, livelihoods and health conditions of the local communities of the affected areas. The Government of Pakistan estimates an approximate of five million people (three million in Sindh and two million in Baluchistan) being affected by the drought in twenty-six districts of its Sindh and Baluchistan provinces.

Both Sindh and Baluchistan provinces have high rates of poverty and food insecurity. The incidence of multidimensional poverty is forty-three per cent in Sindh and seventy-one per cent in Baluchistan. While the incidence is even higher in rural areas; with seventy-six per cent in Sindh and eighty-five  per cent in Baluchistan.

Access to health facilities in these areas is extremely difficult due to the long distances, with the nearest health facilities located at an average distance of 19.8 km in Sindh and 30 km in Baluchistan.  The high costs of travelling to these health facilities, the poor road infrastructure and a lack of cheaper public transport facilities acts as additional barriers to health services here. Even at the nearest health facilities, there is an acute shortage of lifesaving medicines and a general lack of essential medical equipment.

Most rural population of Sindh and Baluchistan live in poor socioeconomic conditions . Their sole source of income in most cases is agriculture. Therefore, the shortage of water and scarce rainfull leaves these communities in further depreviation; with no livelihood and dying livestock. To meet their most basic household and survival expenses, seventy-three percent of these drought affected communities have taken loans from relatives, shopkeepers and landlords in the last six months and  are living in debt.   

The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and the Provincial Disaster Management Agency (PDMA) have been appointed with coordinating response efforts to support the drought affected communities at the national level and provincial level. While the UNOCHA is supporting these government bodies with its coordination mechanisms. Other UN agencies, international and national NGOs who plan to provide assistance to the drought affected communities have been asked to coordinate with NDMA and PDMA for response plans.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of Sindh has distributed 50kgs (a two time distribution for two months) of wheat to drought affected families in the province. Additionally, three rounds of monthly distribution of ration bags  to pregnant and lactating women in districts Umerkot and Tharparkar was completed on March 10th [1].According to UNOCHA, around twenty-six national and international organisations are currently working in Sindh province, while twenty organisations are working in Baluchistan province. Some of these organizations are working on  drought response while the rest engaged in regular development interventions.

According to the latest reports by the metrological department, the current rainfall rate has given some relief to the drought situation in some previously affected districts of Baluchistan and Sindh provinces. However, other districts, namely  Awaran, Chaghi, Kharan, Noshki and Gawadar in Baluchistan, while Dadu, Khairpur, Mitiari, Qambar Shahdadkot, Sajawal, Sanghar, Thatta, Tharparkar and Umerkot districts in Sindh province are likely to remain under moderate drought conditions.

Community World Service Asia is currently responding to the food security and health  needs of the drought affected communities in district Umerkot of Sindh. Under the food security component of our emergency response, we have completed distribution of food packages  to two-hundred and eighty drought affected families through a voucher scheme. In addition, a response project supporting five-hundred and fifty-five  pregnant and lactating women and  providing food vouchers to sixteen-hundred families is underway and expected to be completed in the following six months. Under the health component of our emergency response, we are providing emergency health services to 15,600 drought affected people through two mobile health units as well  distributing baby kits and T-shirts for children.

Nonetheless, there is still a massive gap between the actual needs of the drought-affected communtiies and the assistance provided to them so far. Many affected communities have still remained unattended due to limited funding and resources. More funding is needed to provide basic assistance to the communities that remain unsupported.

Since droughts are slow, onset disasters, its response requires more planning and resource mobilization. There is therefore a dire need to organize resources for long term interventions to address drought mitigation and resilience building of affected communities.

Contacts:

Faye Lee
Associate Regional Director
Emergencies, DRR and CCA
Email: faye.lee@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 51 2307484

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
http://humanitarianservice.info/droughtportal
www.pmd.gov.pk


[1] The first round of this distribution started in December 2018.

Final Selection of project participants in a meeting held in collaboration with the Village Committee.

Our Emergencies Program is addressing food security needs of drought-affected communities in district Umerkot of Sindh, Pakistan. Food items have been distributed to 280 drought-affected families through voucher schemes at a “market day” that was organized by the project team in Sekhro, a union council of Umerkot.  The food package has been designed in line with Sphere food security standards and includes wheat flour (60kg), basmati rice (15kg), pulses (7kg), cooking oil (6 liters), sugar (6kg), tea leaves (600 grams), iodized salt (1kg) and matchboxes (pack of 10).

During the planning stage of the project, introductory meetings with affected communities were held to form village committees and train them, on project participant selection, use of voucher and complaint response mechanism, to participate in and take ownership of project activities. With the help of the village committees, women-headed households, families with low and no income, orphan children, elderly and the disabled village members were identified as key recipients of the food packages.

The village committee facilitated the entire voucher distribution process that took place a day prior to the “market day” and ensured that the food vouchers were distributed to the identified and most-vulnerable drought-affected families. The selected families were also oriented on how to use the voucher to buy the food items and about the venue and process of distribution on the “market day”. All the project participants were informed of the code of conduct of ACT Alliance and the process of registering complaints as well.

A total of 140 women, 138 men and 2 differently abled individuals took part in the “Market Day”, where they were given a range of food items to choose from with their vouchers for their respective household and family needs.

Community Voices:

“Due to the severe drought in our area we were unable to harvest a single grain. It was difficult to find other labour opportunities in the vicinity as well. I was worried about feeding my family with no work and zero harvest. I was just about to sell my livestock when Community World Service Asia came to our door to provide food assistance in these difficult times. We received quality food items that are enough to cater to the nutritional needs of my family for more than a month.”

Deepo, son of Muko, Sadamani Village, Umerkot District

“I have been unable to feed my children adequately since the last couple of months. With the onslaught draught and lack of fodder for our animals, we barely had any means of income or food.  Many families had to migrate from this area, as they were unable to grow anything or find other work.  This relief project has come to us as a blessing. The method of selecting project participants and the distribution method at the market day was very organized and hassle free.”

Jaman Khatton, wife of late Vishno, New Sobahani Village, Umerkot District

“My wife and I were dependent on our neighbors and other villagers who would provide us with little food assistance as my poor health does not allow me to work and earn a living. The food assistance provided by the project team of the relief project catered to our immediate needs. We now have food items stored in our house, which will last us more than two months. The food package includes a sufficient amount of basic food items required to cook a good meal.”

Mr. and Mrs. Adho, Sadmani Village, Umerkot District

photo credit: www.afp.com

The prevailing drought like situation is likely to worsen in coming days mainly because of insufficient rainfall during the monsoon season.

Overall, Pakistan has received -24.4% below average rainfall from May to August this year, while among provinces, Sindh has received the most insufficient rainfall during this period which is -69.5% followed by -49% in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and -45% in Baluchistan.

Sindh has witnessed a substantial 87.7% decline during the months of July and August where Baluchistan is at number two during the same period with a decline of 53.5%. The overall decline in Sindh from May until end of August remained at 69.5% while in Baluchistan it remained at 45.7%. Due to this deficient in the rainfall, moderate drought like conditions has emerged in most southern parts of the country. Owing to the current insufficient rainfall across the country, Pakistan Metrological Department’s National Drought Monitoring Center (NDMC) has issued drought alert. As per the alert, the moderate to severe drought is prevailing in most parts of Sindh districts which includes, Tharparkar, Mitthiari, Hyderabad, Jacobabad, Dadu, Karachi, Kambar Shahdadkot, Umerkot, Sanghar, Sajawal, Shaheed Benazirabad, Jamshoro and Khairpur.  The districts in Baluchistan included Dalbandin, Gawadar, Jiwani, Panjgur, Pasni, Nokundi, Ormara, Quetta and Turbat.

Mild to moderate drought is prevailing at few places of district Multan and Mianwali in Punjab and Bunji, Chilas, Gilgit, and Gupis in Gilgit Baltistan.

It is expected that the drought condition may get severe in the coming days in southern parts of the country due to no further forecast of significant rainfall.

Community World Service Asia response team is in the field and is coordinating with Government agencies, Non-Government humanitarian actors in the field and other relevant departments to collect the latest information on ground. Community World Service Asia is planning to address the immediate food needs of the drought affected/at risk families and fodder for their livestock. The teams in the field will further monitor the situation and will formulate the next plan as per the requirements.

Contacts:

Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organizational Development
Email: hi2shama@cyber.net.pk
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
www.tribune.com.pk
www.dawn.com
www.pmd.gov.pk

District Tharparkar is currently faced with a drought like situation due to minimal rains in the region. This is leading to adverse effects on agricultural and domestic needs of the local communities in the area, leaving many children malnourished and severely ill. Nine infants have been reported dead this month, while a total of 375 children have died due to malnutrition in 2018.

Years of below-average crop production and losses of cattle has worsened the already-dire food insecurity and malnutrition situation in the Tharparkar district. Limited access to clean water and proper sanitation has deeply compromised health conditions of the resident communities.

With no further expectation of adequate rainfall, the situation seems to worsen in the near future. The sufferings of affected communities are only expected to increase as they have very limited crop production and their own health, as well as that of their livestock, is only further deteriorating due to a lack of water and food supply. Analyzing the current situation, the district administration has appealed to international aid organizations to send their teams support the government in its efforts to provide relief to the people of Thar. The affected communities require immediate emergency relief in terms of nutritional, WASH and health support.

Drought-stricken families from several areas have started migrating along with their livestock to the barrage areas of Badin, Mirpurkhas, Umerkot and other districts.

Community World Service Asia’s Response:

Community World Service Asia (CWSA) has worked towards providing relief and rehabilitation to drought affected communities in the same area before and is currently monitoring the situation. CWSA’s emergency response team is on standby and shall start response activities in case of need.

Contacts:

Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organizational Development
Email: hi2shama@cyber.net.pk
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communications
Email: palwashay.arbab@communityworldservice.asia
Tele: +92 42 3586 5338

Sources:
Geo.tv
District administration