Published On: Wed, Oct 1st, 2014

Call to declare Kachho and Kohistan of Sindh as drought affected area

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PRESS RELEASE
DADU, SINDH:
Speakers at a dialogue on drought situation in Kachho and Kohistan, the arid areas of southern Sindh province of Pakistan, organized by Climate Change Adaptation Project WWF and Friends of Indus Forum, an NGO established by WWF-Pakistan, in collaboration with village Shahdabad Organization and Goth Sudhar Sangat Faridabad has urged the government to declare Kachho and Kohistan as drought affected areas. The area has not received rains and all water resources have been exploited.

They suggested that Kachho and Kohistan Development Authority should be established and relief package should be announced, oil and gas companies should invest funds in drought affected areas, alternate livelihood should be promoted in drought affected areas, release of saline water into Hamal and Manchar Lak should be stopped, Forest department should take measures to ban tree cutting in Kachho, health centers should be set up in each village consisting of 30000 population.
Speaking at the occasion Nasir Ali Panhwar, General Secretary Friends of Indus Forum said that gap between civil society and government need to be bridged and coordination between line departments should be ensured. He said that Kachho and Kositan has not only been ignored by government and elected representatives but civil society has also ignored the area. He added that ecological degradation has further affected the arid regions including Kachho and Kohistan.
Mustafa Mirani said that Manchar and Hamal are both environmentally significant wetlands but due to mismanaging drainage water has affected the eco system of wetlands. He said that important flora and fauna of the area has disappeared. He said that water is key requirement for sustenance of life in the arid areas of Dadu and Jamshoro.

Dr. Ali Murtaza Dharejo highlighted that due to global climate change rain fall pattern has been changed alarmingly. He said that poor people are unable to cope with changing climatic patterns which has increased frequency of disasters such as droughts and floods. He called for documenting vanishing fauna and flora of the area. Dr Zahid Hussain Khero focal person for the drought mitigation said that district administration s taking all possible efforts to provide basic amenities of life to local people. He said that drought control room has been setup. He informed that 147,000 livestock has been vaccinated, while 36000 livestock have been treated in the district. He said that all government departments are prepared to tackle any untoward situation to in Kacho and Kohistan and in this connection contingency plan has been finalized. He also requested local people to help district government in identification of villages and disease outbreak. He also claimed that district government has been compiling facts and figures regarding drought situation. Muhammad Tahir Abbasi from CCAP project of WWF-Pakistan highlighted the need for rain water harvesting in drought affected areas and take measures to mitigate the climate change impacts. He also suggested for long as well as short term policies for uplift of the arid zones in Sindh.

Climate change journalist Aakash Santorai said that water management in Kachho is crucial for sustainable livelihood. He said cropping pattern should be linked with climate change. Akbar Lashari representative of Village Shadbad Organization said that Kachho has been ignored since long. He said that food insecurity has been increased while grazing lands for livestock has been decreased. He said due to drought situation people have migrated to other areas. Ghulam Mustafa Abbasi said government has no priority for remote areas and hence people are still living in stone age. Sanaullah Rustamani said that Gaj dam would affect Manchar Lake badly. He said that agro based economy is highly fragile to climate change. Gulsher Panhwar, Allahyar Rodnani, Mazhar Babar, Akbar Panhwar and others also spoke.

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