Archives

Mohan Maghwar, 35, lives with his wife and three children of seven & five years while little one is of three months old, in the remote village of Rantnor, located in the Thar Desertⁱ in the south of Pakistan. All kinds of natural life here is dependent on the annual rainwater. Rantnor is deprived of most basic survival facilities including healthcare, electricity, clean drinking water or sufficient livelihood sources.

Earning an income through traditional Sindhi cap weaving and manufacturing, Mohan was the sole breadwinner for his growing family. His wife would also help him with the weaving. He would receive many orders from the local markets and neighbouring buyers for which Mohan would buy raw materials and work on a fortnightly basis and then sell the finished product providing him a comfortable means to sustain his family. However, as COVID-19 struck the country, he soon lost his only source of livelihood.

Our lives were going fine before the coronavirus came in the country and the national lockdown was imposed. Before the pandemic, I was earning up to PKR 600 (approx. USD 4) on every cap my wife and I produced. Sadly, our work was suspended because of closure of markets and restrictions on gatherings. There were no orders to work on and no money to earn due to limited or no work opportunities. I was worried about making ends meet without any source of income.”

As a humanitarian response to the COVID-19 crisis, Community World Service Asia (CWSA), with support of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), is implementing a project addressing the immediate needs of drought affected communities in Umerkot. Through the project, 1,206 families will be provided with two cash grants, each of PKR 12,000 (approx. USD $ 75/-) in September through mobile cash transfer services. This cash assistance is aimed at addressing the food insecurity caused by drought, repeated locust-attacks and the economic implications of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable communities in remote areas of Sindh.

Rantnor was among the project’s target villages due as the family’s livelihoods was severely affected by the lockdown amid COVID-19 and drought. CWSA’s team identified Mohan and his family as project pariticpant of this humanitarian response as they were most affected by not only COVID-19 but other natural and climate induced crises as well.  Mohan received two rounds of cash assistances of PKR 12000 each (Approx. USD 75) in August and October 2020.

“With the money received, I purchased groceries and invested some money in a business and established a small enterprise shop at home, as I have marketing experience and utilized the cash assistance in creating a livelihood opportunity.”


ⁱ 55kilometers from Pakistan’s Umerkot District

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

X
X
X