Published On: Wed, Aug 13th, 2014

Farmers in Mardan unable to cope climate changes


By Ismail Hashmi
Climate change, a change in global and regional climate patterns, although contributes to adjustments in lifestyles for communities all over Pakistan, some areas are particularly at risk. One such area is Mardan. Productivity of crops is on a decline due to increasing land desertification, increasing temperatures and loss of soil fertility.
Adaptation to climate change for poor farmers has become quite difficult. Communities at the local level across the district are severely affected by these changes, especially during the Monsoon season.
Ghala Dher (Sawky), is a rural union council (UC) on the Kalpani river, which flows from Swat to the river Indus, Nowshehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. During a visit to the river, this scribe saw the destroyed crops and observed the changes in lifestyle of the community.
“Three years ago heavy flash floods struck our village and destroyed the crops, livelihoods, houses, as well as the only mosque,” said Hamza, a student who lives in Sawky, while taking a bath alongside the river. “The water here is neither fit for animals nor for domestic use or agriculture. But because we have no alternative, we swim here during summers.”
Both solid and liquid waste of the city can be found in the river as the main gutter line has been mixed. Hence, there are concerns about the spread of waterborne diseases.
Moreover, the irregular pattern of monsoon rains causes disruption in production of wheat, vegetables, sugarcane and corn, etc. Often there is no rain, but when it rains, it is so heavy – lashes the fields and destroys the crops.

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