Drought Situation in Pakistan

Last year’s monsoon was about a quarter below the normal, while the winter rains from December to March were about half the average, Drought-like conditions have emerged over most parts of Pakistan. Pakistan’s water crisis has become increasingly visible in recent months: levels in the largest dams are low; much of the water used in Pakistan comes from its two largest dams the Tarbela and the Mangla. Both are managed by the Indus River System Authority (IRSA), a government water management agency.

Similar situation is developed in other drought prone areas of the country. Government of Pakistan has notified 28 districts which are arid and has faced a mild to moderate and severe drought like situation since 2013. The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted no adequate rainfall in the near future meaning that the situation will only worsen with diminishing resources. Crop production will continue to drop while the death of livestock will rise. The health of the community will continue to suffer more as the water and food supplies decline.In southeastern Sindh, below-average rainfall during the 2016 monsoon resulted in no or substantially less crop production for the third consecutive year and in livestock losses, affecting the two main livelihood sources in the region.According to ECHO, 27% of the population in Sindh is moderately to acutely food insecure.A lack of access to WASH facilities and medical services exacerbates food security and nutrition conditions. Landless agricultural labourers, pastoralists, and sharecroppers are most vulnerable and the worst hit. Comparable and recent data on food insecurity rates is missing, but according to the latest assessment conducted in 2015, GAM and SAM rates were well above emergency levels.Since September 2016, response has been limited. According to a report by the UN Country Team in Pakistan published in February 2017, the region is on the verge of a humanitarian crisis.

Act Alliance has also issued the drought alert in Pakistan, due protracted low crop production, the food insecurity and malnutrition issue has further worsened as families are forced to sell the goods that they otherwise would have consumed themselves. Access to clean water has also severely been limited, causing water-borne diseases and compromising the health of the residents.

Analyzing the current situation, the district administration has coordinated meeting with stakeholders including humanitarian international and local aid organizations for the continuing of support to the government in its efforts to mitigate the impact of drought like situation.