Pakistan

Pakistan: Drought Assessment Report, District Dadu, Sindh

Format
Assessment
Source
Posted
Originally published


Conducted on May 13th-16th, and, June, 5th-15th
Brief Purpose

1. Identify drought-affected population and their needs.
2. Assess capacity of local CBOs and NGOs.
3. Analyze government and NGO’s assistance to affected people, and,
4. Determine Pattan’s intervention.

Locations visited

Kohistan and Kachhoo areas of:

  • Johi Taulka
  • K.N. Shah Taulka
  • Mahar Taulka

Team Composition
  • Farzana Bari (gender and development desk)
  • Rehan Hafeez (agriculturist)
  • Aster Anjum (gender and development desk)
  • Manzoor Ahmed (community activist)
  • Sarwar Bari (disaster mitigation and development desk)

Conducted By

Pattan Development Organization
125-C, St. 19, F-11/2, ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN
Tel. 051-299494 Fax: 291547
Email: pattan@comsats.net.pk

Background:

The Pattan assessment team was consist of gender and disaster management experts. They used PRA tools to assess gravity of situation. The team members also met government officials, representatives of NGOs/CBOs and political parties. The main objective of the field visit was to find out gaps between needs (short and long term) of the affected people and on-ongoing relief operation, and to assess the capacity of the local CBOs/NGOs. On the basis of this, Pattan has determined its intervention.

The population of the district Dadu is 1688.81 thousands according to 1998 census report. The rural and urban population of the district constituting 79% and 21% of the total population respectively. The area of district is 19070 square kilometers divided in seven talukas yielding population density of 88.6 persons per square kilometer. The average household size of the district in 5.5 persons relatively higher in urban areas at 6.3 as compared to that in rural areas at 5.3 implying more congestion in urban areas. More than 73% of the housing units in Dadu district are single room houses.

The Dadu district may be divided into three parts which are entirely dissimilar in character namely (i) the Kohistan and kachho area (ii) the barrage zone and (iii) the low land riverine area. The soil is rich alluvial loam of the Indus valley. The northern part of the district used to be subject to the Indus flood or Lets. There is magnificent water supply in the north (middle of the district) from canals. To the west canal irrigation is restricted by the gradual rising of the area in the direction of the hills with the result that this area of the district which is known as kachho assumes the bare and dreary aspect. The Kachho area consists of 154 Dehs with the population of 250,339. The climate of the district is intensively hot in summer and cold enough in winter. The average annual rainfall in the district is about 120 millimeters.

The district is rich in flora and fauna. Different kinds of grasses and other plants of low growth are considerable. Manchaer Lake is an ideal place having different kinds of botanical plants and verity of migratory birds coming from Siberia.

All crops of Kaharif and Rabi are grown in the district. Such crops are wheat, rice, cotton, sugar cane, maize, barley, jowar, bajra, gram sesame and tobacco. Wheat and fodder are major crops in rain fed kachho area. Here rainwater is major source of irrigation, but there are also few tube wells available. The total area under forest is district Dadu is 217,000 hectares yielding timber and firewood. The farming of livestock is rife in Dadu specifically in kachho. Many tribes are involved in this business and earn livelihood through this mean. The population of animals is about 2.3 million including buffaloes, cows, goats, sheep, camels, etc. and this drought has caused 30% approximate losses.

Drought Situation

Water

Dadu district is situated in arid and semi arid zone of Pakistan, and hence prone to drought. The people of Kohistan and Kachhoo are dependent on rainwater, which recharges their ponds and wells the easy access to potable/safe drinking water is one of the basic human needs. As per information gathered in 1998 housing census, the facility of piped water is available to 23.67% housing units. Use of hand pumps has been reported at 45.18%, while well as source of drinking water is availed by 18.81% both in rural and urban areas. Ponds and unspecified sources have been reported 12.33%, mainly in kachho area.

Riverine belt and irrigated or barrage area used to have enough water, but due to less rains in the last two years, even riverine floods did not come. The water table has gone down even in riverine belt. River Indus has very little water for the past two years.

Survival without water is not possible even for a day, and in the sizzling summer of Dadu, one needs access to water at all the time. One person needs a minimum of 4-5 liters of water per day for drinking and another 15-20 liters for bathing and washing. Animals, depending on their size needs large quantity of water (15-30 liters) per day to survive. According to government estimates, more than 20,000 families (or, 100,000 people) are affected in Dadu district. Their water needs come to about 3 million liters of water per day. This quantity is of course not available; rather existing water sources are fast depleting. People have to wait long hours to collect water from the wells. It was observed that women and children were spending long hour’s daily to collect water. As far quality of water is concerned, it is not fit for human consumption at all.

There are complaints that quality of water has gone worst. It was also reported that taste of the water of some of the wells that used to have sweat has become brackish. At many places, people and animals were seen drinking water from the same open ponds. This has been causing health problems particularly among children and old people. It was also observed that in some villages water was collected in ponds and people are being forced to buy it.

Water problem will worsen if there are no rainfall in near future. Water table has already gone very low and summer heat will further evaporate water that might lead to complete depletion of water in these wells. This may force people to migrate to canal areas. Of course, this will create new set of problems such as law and order.

Food

The prices of food commodities have gone up in the last few months, while income of the affected population has gone down. This has reduced their purchasing power, and hence, their calories intake. This coupled with the consumption of contaminated water will execrate health problems. During the assessment visits, it was felt that people are barely meeting their dietary needs. Consumption of meat, milk products, edible oil and pulses had gone down.

Health

Health status of people and animals has been badly affected due to drought situation. People reported increasing incidents of diarrhea among children, skin diseases in human beings and in animals, eye infection, fever, gastro, stomach pain and vomiting.

People frequently mentioned tuberculosis as health problem due to drought. Tuberculosis already existed in the area, however, unhygienic conditions created due to water scarcity and lack of sufficient food, tuberculosis has become worse and spreading fast.

Due to reduced cash income, people are not consulting doctors or purchasing medicine. Few incidents of children’s death due to diarrhea are reported during the fieldwork. Due to prolonged mal-nutrition and increasing workload, pregnant and lactating mothers are suffering from anemia. Two cases of miscarriage were reported due to overwork. According to local doctors, there was an increase of 15-20 % in cases of illness related to water and malnutrition.

Livestock

Livestock has been a major asset base for the inhabitant of arid zones. Lack of drinking water and vegetation in the areas has badly affected the health of animals. About 20-25% animals have perished in district Dadu. Milk production of animal has declined which has implication for nutritional status and income level of the households in this area. Since there is hardly any veterinary services available in the area, almost every second household has lost one or two animals by now. People are trying to sell their animals, which has dropped the prices of livestock in the market. Farmers are selling their sheep and goats at half the price of normal rates.

Due to fodder unavailability and its high price, some people reported that they had moved their livestock to safer areas but there is a pressure on them to maintain them from distance. It was observed that fodder was available in abundance in barrage areas of district Dadu and is being sent to Karachi.

Livelihood Strategies

The poor people of drought affected areas have adopted multiple economic activities to survive. Majority of them is mainly dependent on agriculture and livestock rearing. About 20-30% of Kachhoo and Kohistan people migrates to barrage areas during cultivation and harvesting seasons. This provides them enough grain and cash income to survive. Agriculture is the main sector of employment for people in the area. Due to shortage of rainfall, they could not cultivate some crops this year. As a result of this men have left with no jobs to do. After water, the communities mentioned unemployment as the most urgent problems. People are going out from their villages in search of work. Some men go nearby towns and villages to work as daily wage laborers. Other has migrated to bigger cities like Hyderabad and Karachi in search of work. Some of them still able to find jobs as haris in irrigated areas. Some families have already migrated from the area. It is expected that mass migration will take place in these areas if the drought situation is not improved.

Traditionally, women earn some income by making Ban and through embroidery. Women are spending a lot more time on these activities now to make up for the lost income due to non-farming situation. Ban making is considered a woman’s job, but now many women reported that their men are also making it, as they do not have anything else to do. One Kilogram of Ban can be sold in the market for Rs 10-15. It was observed that men women and children all work to make ban and this seems to be main source of cash income for the family at the moment.

It was also reported that in village people starting cutting trees and selling them for cash in the market as well.

Impact of Drought on Gender

Drought has affected all those living in drought affected areas, however, the impact of drought situation on women is worst due to their socio-cultural and economic positioning within the family and the community. Workload on women has increased many folds due to lost of male employment in agriculture sector and their migration to other cities in search of work. Women are working harder to sell their traditional skill to meet the demand of cash for the family. Through daily routine chart with women it has been established that women are spending 3-4 number of hours daily to make ban and sell in the market for RS. 10-15 per Kg to meet the needs of family. The income earned from ban made by women seems to be the primary source of cash for most of the households.

Due to subordinate status of women in the family, women are last and have the least to eat. Due to their reproductive roles, low nutrition impacts them more negatively then male members.

Government’s Response:

Most of Kachoo area in Sindh is inaccessible due to absence of road infrastructure. It is observed that most of relief assistance is provided to those affected areas which are relatively more accessible (due to kacha track of roads). However, those areas which are inaccessible, usually do not have community based organizations working for them are more in need of relief assistance, has been ignored by official and non-governmental relief assistance programs. Hence, it is suggested that Government and NGOs should take area focus approach and target these areas on priority bases. Dadu district administration has declared 65 Dehs of four talukas as drought affected.

According to their reports 119,315 persons of 18,798 families have been affected directly. Each affected family head received cash, Atta (Wheat flour), pulses, sugar, ghee and soap. The table below shows the details of distribution of relief goods up to 12.6.2000. They also treated 14,334 patients in 107 villages for several ailments resulted by drought. Teams of Animal Husbandry department vaccinated/treated 95,072 animals in 144 villages of four talukas. District administration also working for the rehabilitation of water sources. They have rehabilitated 31 non-operational tube wells and planning to install another 23 more in kachho area.

Table: Distribution of Relief Goods up to 12.6.2000 (DC office Report)

S. No.
Item
Quantity
Cash
Rs. 812,500
Wheat Flour
302,300 Kg
Rice
110,400 Kg
Wheat
26,420 Kg
Pluses
5,750 Kg
Ghee
1,523 Kg
Sugar
1,450 Kg
Soap
657 Nos.

The DC office report does not make any sense to the reader. It only provides data of affected population, but does not show how many of them have received food ration. The government has stopped the relief operation after one distribution as far as distribution of food ration is concerned. This also does not make any sense, because drought situation has become worst than what was in May.

Gaps in Response

Gender blind: It seems that the government departments ignored needs of women both in their need assessment and relief distribution. There are about more than 15-20% families are female headed in Dadu district, and they were left out from distribution. The relief items were given to men only. As a result of that many women shared their concerns with us that men did not bring money home. They spend it on tea and cigarettes. It was also reported that relief items were given to local notable for distribution, and they did not distribute them fairly.

Incomplete: It appears from the field visits and from our discussions with government officers that distribution of relief goods have been stopped without analyzing the conditions of the affected areas, while a large number of relief goods are lying in the district, and people need them. We interviewed number of drought affected people present in the free medical camps and majority of them informed that they did not receive any relief at all. The DC office report provides numbers of affected families and total quantity of relief items, but lacks information about beneficiary families. Therefore, it is very difficult to assess how many of the affected families had received relief.

Under utilization of departmental resources: The government has not constituted any mechanism to assess the changing situation of drought affected areas, despite of having all the required departments. To respond effectively, it is imperative to prepare projections for adequate interventions.

Response of Dadu Police

The total strength of Dadu Police is more than 4,000 personnel, and they are present in almost all far-flung areas of Dadu district. No other government depart has such a neither numerical strength nor presence in the district. The Sindh Police under its Community Policing programme have been trying to involve communities in their work. Under this programme, they have set up many free medical camps in the drought affected areas. Our team visited one of the camps, where more than 4000 men and women from far flung drought affected villages were present for treatment. This shows enormity of the health status of the drought-affected people. It is worth noting here that DIG Hyderabad Range and SSP Dadu district remained present in the medical camp for the whole day.

The Dadu Police informed us that they had distributed drinking water in more than 20 locations in May and June.

The Dadu Police not only helped Pattan and other CBOs to conduct drought assessment, but also actively participated in the disaster preparedness training workshop. The Police have also shown interest to continue their support in relief and rehabilitation work.

NGOs Response:

Despite of having large number of CBOs presence in the district, they could not take initiative to address the drought situation, except few but small interventions at village level. This was perhaps due to their very limited capacity in terms of networking/advocacy and their limited geographically operation and population coverage. Most of the CBOs seems to be of similar stature, therefore could not lead others. Keeping in view this situation, Pattan decided to take initiative bring CBOs at one platform.

Pattan’s Intervention

Majority of the local CBOs welcomed Pattan’s arrival in Dadu with enthusiasm.

Relevant Experience: Pattan Development Organization has a long experience in community based disaster preparedness/mitigation, handling of large-scale relief operations and rehabilitation programs. Pattan has also been using its field-based learning to influence policy makers. Since 1993, Pattan had provided training to more than 80 NGOs/CBOs in disaster preparedness.

Drought 2000: In response to the drought situation, Pattan dispatched a small team consists of gender and disaster experts to the province of Sindh to assess the drought situation and determine the nature of its interventions.

Contact with GOs and Civil Society Organizations: Pattan gave a presentation to the Emergency Relief Cell, Cabinet Division, Islamabad on drought situation and the way government has been handling it, formed a network of Islamabad based NGOs. Pattan team also met Additional Relief Commissioner, Sindh, Deputy Commissioner Dadu, Assistant Commissioner, Mahar - Dadu, Additional Deputy Magistrate, Dadu, Deputy Inspector General Police, Hyderabad range, and SSP Dadu. To ascertain opinion of political groups, political leaders and activists were contacted in Hyderabad and Dadu. Leaders of CBOs and NGOs were also consulted.

Sindh Police offered logistic support to Pattan for drought assessment. Dadu Police also requested Pattan to provide disaster management training to local CBOs/NGOs and Police officials.

Capacity building of local CBOs and Police: Pattan organized a three days workshop in district Dadu, attended by 31 CBOs/NGOs and police officials. The training content included conceptualization of disaster, capacity and vulnerability analysis, water purification, gender issues in disaster, food for work, community participation in disaster and introduction to Participatory Rapid Appraisal and some of its tools that can be effectively applied in need assessment in drought affected areas. The training was combined with one day fieldwork in drought affected areas.

Formation of Disaster Reduction Network: At the end of the workshop, participants formed a relief committee and network, which would work together to address short (relief assistance) and long term (disaster mitigation) problems in regard to drought and floods in district Dadu. The network would also assist local administration in need assessment and relief operations. The network consists of 31 CBO/NGOs and Dadu Police will provide support to this network. The network will prepare a disaster reduction plan for Dadu on long term basis.

The information in this report is collected by Pattan’s team through the application of PRA tools during their visits to drought affected areas. The team was provided logistical support by the SSP office, Dadu.

Pattan’s team visited 18 affected villages in Kachhoo area of tehsil K.N.Shah, Johi, and Mahar (Faridabad, Shah Godro, Mian Naseer Shah, Soba D, Pat Gul Moh, Gul Bubber Kasbo, Wahi Pandi, Chini, Tando Raheem Khan, Gaji Shah, Thul, Goth Subo Dottani, Salari)

Water Purification:

Pattan has provided chlorine and Musaffa to local CBOs and Police for more than 1500 households for water purification.

Need Assessment

During the need assessment, people mentioned all sorts of needs including their developmental one. However, when people were asked to prioritized them in term of urgency through preference ranking. Following needs were mentioned by the respondents according to its priority.

  • Provide water and purification of existing water sources and health.
  • Create employment opportunities.
  • Distribute food on subsidized rates.
  • Provide Credit.
  • Construct roads and well.
  • Provide education.

Profession of villagers: In seven surveyed villages the population is about 10,000 and we got information from a group of 30-40 male and female separately in each village. Presently the professions of villagers are as under:
  • Laborer (Out of district)
  • Hari (Away from Village)
  • Laborer (Nearby town)
  • Shepherd and others

Other information: In surveyed villages there were about 4,000 animals out of which 1070 have died during last six months which is about 27%. With 8 different groups of 4 - 5 people using the tool of preference ranking we were able to find out that water is the most immediate need of villagers, after which they ranked health and then issue of unemployment. In-group discussions people prioritized the reasons of migration as follows:
  • Water unavailability
  • Non - farming conditions of area Deaths of animals
  • Unavailability of fodder of animals

Prices of Food items: This is not only the drought, which has deteriorated economic condition of Kachho people but also increasing prices of basic food items and fodder. During survey of shops in villages and nearby towns 10 - 45% increase was observed during last three months on different items.

Recommendations

  • Collaboration between NGOs and District Administration: There is mushrooming of CBOs willing to work in partnership with government to assist people in drought affected areas to re-build their lives. However, these CBOs do not have the capacity to manage large-scale relief and rehabilitation programs. Thus it is also recommended that government must arrange crash capacity building programs for CBOs and use them as resource now and for future to deal with any disaster.
  • The DC office must take initiative to involve NGOs/CBOs for an effective relief work as it has been done in Tharparkar. Local CBOs have already formed a relief and disaster reduction committee in Dadu. Secondly, take drought affected people as a resource and not as a passive victim. Only NGOs can achieve this.
  • Gender balanced approach: Since, drought has been affecting womenfolk differently, it is imperative to assess their needs by involving women in the assessment. Please note a large number of village health workers and women school teachers are available in the district to do this work. Pattan offers its services to provide them a two-day training.
  • Short and long term needs and interventions: By using participatory need assessment of different sections of society and quantity of existing resources, projections can be prepared. It is imperative to keep in view environmental impact and sustainability of all interventions. Water and health is the first priority in the area, followed by employment generation through food for work projects. The supply of food items on subsidized rates is essential. Department of public health engineering and SAZDA must work on war footing to provide water to affected people.
  • Shift from relief to preparedness and disaster reduction: We would like to suggest a fundamental shift in the official approach towards drought and relief operations. Drought is not a type of disaster, which occurs over night rather it is slow on-set category of disaster. Therefore, instead of taking a reactive approach and providing emergency relief, government must adopt pro-active strategies to address the problem and its solution on long-term basis. It is also important to note that some of the drought-affected areas are also flood prone. In case of floods, these people would suffer further. Therefore, it is very important to be ready for floods. The assessment of floods on these people is also needed to be conducted now.

Future Plans

Currently, Pattan Team and Dadu Disaster Reduction Network of NGOs / CBOs with the support of Dadu Police conducting need assessment of the affected people. In this regard 7 teams have been formed. This exercise will be completed by end of June. The network is using PRA tools for this purpose. The findings of the assessment teams will be synthesized, and interventions (projects) will be then decided accordingly.

Information on Pattan Delopment Organisation

Relevant Experience: Pattan Development Organization has a long experience in community based disaster preparedness/mitigation, handling of large-scale relief operations and rehabilitation programs. Pattan has also been using its field-based learning to influence policy makers. Since 1993, Pattan had provided training to more than 80 NGOs/CBOs in disaster preparedness.

Drought 2000: In response to the drought situation, Pattan dispatched a small team consists of gender and disaster experts to the province of Sindh to assess the drought situation and determine the nature of its interventions.

Contact with GOs and Civil Society Organizations: Pattan gave a presentation to the Emergency Relief Cell, Cabinet Division, Islamabad on drought situation and the way government has been handling it, formed a network of Islamabad based NGOs. Pattan team also met Additional Relief Commissioner, Sindh, Deputy Commissioner Dadu, Assistant Commissioner, Mahar - Dadu, Additional Deputy Magistrate, Dadu, Deputy Inspector General Police, Hyderabad range, and SSP Dadu. To ascertain opinion of political groups, political leaders and activists were contacted in Hyderabad and Dadu. Leaders of CBOs and NGOs were also consulted.

Sindh Police offered logistic support to Pattan for drought assessment. Dadu Police also requested Pattan to provide disaster management training to local CBOs/NGOs and Police officials.

Capacity building of local CBOs and Police: Pattan organized a three days workshop in district Dadu, attended by 31 CBOs/NGOs and police officials. The training content included conceptualization of disaster, capacity and vulnerability analysis, water purification, gender issues in disaster, food for work, community participation in disaster and introduction to Participatory Rapid Appraisal and some of its tools that can be effectively applied in need assessment in drought affected areas. The training was combined with one day fieldwork in drought affected areas.

Formation of Disaster Reduction Network: At the end of the workshop, participants formed a relief committee and network, which would work together to address short (relief assistance) and long term (disaster mitigation) problems in regard to drought and floods in district Dadu. The network would also assist local administration in need assessment and relief operations. The network consists of 31 CBO/NGOs and Dadu Police will provide support to this network. The network will prepare a disaster reduction plan for Dadu on long term basis.

The information in this report is collected by Pattan’s team through the application of PRA tools during their visits to drought affected areas. The team was provided logistical support by the SSP office, Dadu.

Pattan’s team visited 18 affected villages in Kachhoo area of tehsil K.N.Shah, Johi, and Mahar (Faridabad, Shah Godro, Mian Naseer Shah, Soba D, Pat Gul Moh, Gul Bubber Kasbo, Wahi Pandi, Chini, Tando Raheem Khan, Gaji Shah, Thul, Goth Subo Dottani, Salari)

Water Purification: Pattan has provided chlorine and Musaffa to local CBOs and Police for more than 1500 households for water purification.Please contact us should you need further information.