Islamic Relief is providing lifesaving assistance to families fighting to survive in water-scarce Balochistan, and helping them become more resilient to drought.
Recurring droughts in Balochistan, Pakistan, have in the last few decades become more frequent, intense, and unpredictable. A long spell of dry seasons spanning over five years has affected about 1.9 million people, as water sources such as wells and ponds have dried up. Tens of thousands of people have left the region. Leaving behind their homes and livelihoods, they now face an uncertain future.
For many of those that remain, decimated livelihoods mean hunger is an everyday companion – especially in the worst affected districts: Chagai, Kharan, Noshki and Washuk.
Islamic Relief’s response to the drought is providing immediate support to keep hunger at bay, and we are also bringing about longer term change by boosting the resilience of communities to drought.
Urgent support is tackling hunger and saving local livelihoods
In Chaghai and Kharan, we are helping 1,000 families banish hunger and rebuild their livelihoods. They are receiving poultry, food and vaccinations for their livestock, and kitchen garden kits so they can use waste water from their homes to grow food. A further 1,000 families in Chagai are also benefiting from these interventions, thanks to funding by the Pakistan Humanitarian Pool Fund (PHPF) of UNOCHA.
Among those we’ve reached is Hidayatullah Ali Dost, 25. He shares his home in Killi Ali Dost village with 12 relatives, and their only source of income is selling milk. The shortage of animal fodder has caused some of the family’s goats to die, but the Islamic Relief intervention is now helping protect their remaining animals – and their livelihood.
Naz Khatoon, 52, has also received support to keep her remaining animals healthy. They are her only source of livelihood.
“Drought has severely impacted us and I have lost 11 sheep and goats during last two months,” she told us as the animals were vaccinated and de-wormed by Islamic Relief in coordination with the government livestock department. Naz Khatoon, who lives in Killi Haji Muhammad Alam village, will in the coming months benefit from help with her animals from a trained livestock worker.
We are also helping rickshaw driver Sher Muhammad, 32, who supports his wife, mother and five nephews. They live together in Killi Raza Muhammad village, where we have previously installed a water tank and solar-powered hand pump. The poultry, feed and training he received from Islamic Relief’s latest intervention means he can supplement his family’s diet straightaway.
In Doulat Khan village, where Islamic Relief had already installed a drinking water supply scheme, we are keeping Muhammad Hanif, 65 from going hungry. He is blind, and to survive he and his wife rely on their neighbors and their four ailing goats.
“I thank Islamic Relief for helping us during this hard time,” says Muhammad Hanif. The ten egg-laying hens he has received from Islamic Relief provide a good source of inexpensive and high quality protein. Thanks to training on looking after the animals, he is now looking to the future when he can sell the eggs to earn an income.
Building community resilience to drought
In addition, we are installing and repairing water systems and water storage in Chagai, which will provide more durable water supplies serving 800 households.
Islamic Relief is also implementing schemes to ‘drought proof’ local livelihoods through managing water, introducing drought resilient crops and building the capacity of local communities.
We have worked in Pakistan since 1992, and alongside lifesaving humanitarian aid deliver development projects that are reducing poverty and suffering in the country.
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