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Letter: Drought in Balochistan

Balochistan, which is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of area and it covers 44% of Pakistan, is encompassed by drought. Drought is one of the major challenges which is being faced by Balochistan province of Pakistan. Balochistan has been experiencing the worst drought for many years.  

The main reason of drought in Balochistan is the deficiency of rainfall. It has an annual rainfall less than 250 millimeters (mm). The monthly average rain in the dry region of Balochistan is between 2-25 mm which is very low as compared to other provinces of the country. In fact, the annual monsoon of the country in the month of May to August hardly ever hits the Southern and Western areas of the province. Due to no rain, water level is decreasing by three and a half feet per year.

The famine, water crisis, starvation etc, due to drought, originate severe consequences which cannot stabilise a dandy status of life. Drought has huge impacts on agriculture. During 2011-2015 the production of crops has decreased from 50-80%. In Balochistan 65% people earning source is based on agriculture which has deteriorated badly. However, 52% provincial GDP depends on the agriculture and the agriculture sector has damaged totally due to which the economy of the province is sinking.

Due to poor quality of water and shortage of food many diseases are caused such as malnutrition, cholera, TB etc. According to the report of   UNICEF ,80% livestock and mankind die in the most affected areas by drought among which 35% children deaths are included who suffer from poor nourishment and die. Due to drought, poverty has been increasing and Balochistan is the poorest province of Pakistan, whose poverty rate is 42.6%.

There has been no solid response of government against the drought in Balochistan. The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), department of irrigation and power as well as department of agriculture are not performing their duties intellectually to achieve better results in the province. Balochistan government receives hundreds of billions rupees by federal government annually which can contribute a great part financially to help the victims of drought. But government of Balochistan is unable to utilise these funds wisely.

The concerned authorties in Pakistan and Balochistan are requested to take tangible measures and assist people in drought hit areas of Balochistan. All governmental authorities should collaborate with each other to fight against this harsh condition  which can cause more destructions in the province in following years.

Mahjabeen Hassan, Turbat Kech.

Published in The Balochistan Point on December 22, 2018

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