ISLAMABAD: Hundreds of families have migrated from the arid zone to safer canal-irrigated areas of Sindh with their only asset livestock as drought and famine play havoc with the populations of Pakistan’s southern district of Tharparkar.
Information collected from seven villages in two union councils, Bilawal Hingoro and Kamil Hingoro, of Sanghar’s Khipro area by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) reveal that the combined populations of these union councils have approximately lost 720 animals to disease caused by fodder and water shortages. Further, the report reveals, at least 495 families have migrated from villages in the area.
However, people living in these affected areas are divided over the cause of the migration with some linking it to drought and famine in the region while others simply seeing it as a yearly occurrence in which families travel long distances to earn additional sources of income to feed their children and animals. “This is the harvest season of wheat, sunflower and pulses, which attracts a large number of labourers who travel with their livestock to irrigated farmland in Sindh.”
“We stay there for a few months and move back with grain for survival,” said one local, adding that families use camels and donkeys to transport their lives with them.
People living in the desert areas of Sindh depend upon rain to earn livelihoods which revolve around livestock rearing.
The findings of the report confirm that a significant number of people living in Sanghar district are living below the poverty line and could not meet their basic food needs. INTERNEWS