Climate change: A massive threat for inhabitants of Thar Desert

climate change thar pic 2

By : Jeetender Maheshwari

Climate Change is a serious concerns for countries like Pakistan and it has deep impact on the livelihood of inhabitants of Pakistan. As weather change has affected the livelihoods of thousands of inhabitants of Tharparkar desert, compelled migration of humans closer to barrage areas has grow to be greater frequent in recent years, with a record number of desolate tract dwellers transferring in 2015.

Thar Desert, the biggest desert of Pakistan is Spread over the geographic region of 19,623 sq. kilometers, and is home to approximately 1.6 million inhabitants , whereas the number of livestock is estimated to be  six million.

Livestock and cattle farming is the only source of income for Thar, the underprivileged district of Sindh, but rapid climate change, uncertain weather pattern, and a drought since last three years, have intensified and proved to be a deadly blow to this source of earnings.

Agriculture in Tharparkar is totally dependent on rains and a year without rain could be considered as drought. Although this year in July Thar received a massive rain but still it couldn’t relieved the dwellers of Thar from drought which has taken several of lives in past three years.

In Thar desert, due to climate change, rain has turn out to be unusual, which has  caused serious drought conditions. Since past three years, the area has witnessed extreme infant mortality, whilst numbers of birds and livestock have also been shrink.

During the past year heat wave in Karachi which caused deaths of thousands of people. Similar situation were also observed in Tharparkar,  where hundreds of child mortality cases have been claimed. This become primarily due to malnutrition – food-poor mothers gave births to weak, premature infants who died within few days of their births.

On my recent of Tharparkar, I met with few villagers of  Pabohar village and ManSingh of village Pabohar was one of them. He told me that the villagers are more concerned about the death of their animals. Among other villagers ManSingh’s primary concern is his cattle that have died in a huge number. He told me that he had around 200 cows, 100 sheep, and 150 goats before a few years ago, but now his 70% cattle have died due to drought and he said that similar situation has also been seen in  livestock of other people in his village. ManSingh told me that in his village, the people believes that climate changes has the solely cause of drought and deaths of several cattle. They have a firm believe is because of lesser rains, and in cognizant of the extensive-scale local weather change.
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Climate change is likely to be responsible for the increased desertification, while making use of the land for agriculture purpose, which in any other case become used for water supply to desert has resulted in scarcity of water and lessening of forests”.

Climate Specialist believe that in recent decades, the climate changes have seriously affected the desert  ecosystem, and  harsh weather is making the lives of inhabitants more difficult and according to them, the reason for this is sudden changes in climate patterns, and if necessary steps are not taken on priority basis, then this might cause very adverse impact.

In my  opinion  the viable solution  to this is the need of building small reservoirs to store the rain water, installation of small reverse-osmosis plants, solar powered pumps, and planting of drought-resistant trees.


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