By: Awesha Ali Mengal
Aranji is a remote area in Tehsil Wadh Balochistan, Pakistan. where people face a multitude of problems, including a lack of hospitals, roads, electricity, and basic necessities of life. The people of Aranji are forced to carry patients on cot (bedframe) and their shoulders and then walk 62 kilo metres by foot to reach the nearest main road, where they can then take further transportation to reach the city for medical treatment. This arduous journey has resulted in the death of many serious patients, particularly women, who died on route or gave birth on the way to the hospital.
This heart-breaking situation highlights the dire need for basic facilities in Aranji, in an era where technology has made so much progress. Women and children in the area are facing severe acute malnutrition and the literacy rate is a mere 2%, which is almost zero. A large number of children are out of school and early, forced, and child marriages are common, along with sexual and gender-based violence and a high mother mortality rate.
The situation in Aranji has been further exacerbated by the effects of climate change. The area was facing extreme heatwaves, reduced rainfall, and drought. In May and August 2022, the area was hit by an earthquake and a month-long rainstorm that caused flooding, damaging people’s homes, agriculture, and livestock.
The people of Aranji are in dire need of help. The government, international organizations, and local communities must come together to provide support and alleviate the suffering of the people in this marginalized area. The provision of basic facilities, such as hospitals, roads, and electricity, is crucial for improving the quality of life for the people of Aranji. In addition, measures must be taken to address the issue of malnutrition and to improve literacy rates.
Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty and suffering in Aranji. Children must be given access to quality education, so that they can escape poverty and have a better future. This can be achieved by building schools and providing teachers, books, and other educational materials. In addition, efforts must be made to reduce the number of early, forced, and child marriages, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Women must be empowered to take control of their lives and to ensure that they have access to basic health care.
The effects of climate change are also a major concern in Aranji. The government and international organizations must work together to provide support and resources to help the people adapt to the changing climate. This could include measures such as building flood protection walls, planting drought-resistant crops, and providing support for livestock management.
Let us not forget the marginalized and poor people of Aranji, and let us work together to bring about a brighter future for them. The time for action is now.
Published in The Balochistan Point on February 13, 2023