INTRODUCTION TO THARPARKAR
Thar is the Largest Desert of Pakistan. It is situated in the province of Sindh. The Thar district derives its name from Thar and Parker. The name Thar is from Thul, the general term for the regions sand ridges and the word Parkar literary means “to cross over”. Earlier it was known as Thar and Parker district but afterwards it became one word ‘Tharparker’. Thar Desert of Pakistan and India is the 9th largest desert of the world. The total length of Thar Desert in Sindh (Pakistan) and Rajhistan (India) is 19,638 km².
Monsoon rainfall (June-Sep) is the main source of water for Tharparkar region in which 87% of annual rainfall is observed. This rainfall impacts a lot to the livelihood of the people. Deficit in monsoon rainfall causes a lot of impacts on agro-socio-economic pattern of that area. During monsoon 2013, Tharparkar region received 70% of its normal rainfall in which Chhor received 94% of rainfall while Mithi receive 46% of rainfall. However, 60 mm rainfall was recorded in Mithi during October 2013 that compensated the monsoon deficit in the area. The below two graphs depict the comparison between actual and normal rainfall from January 2013 to-date at Chhor and Mithi
PEOPLE & DIVERSITY
The language used in Tharparkar is Dhatki also known as Thari. However Urdu and Sindhi are also spoken. People from different religions are living in harmony since ages. Following are the cast distribution:
Muslim: Syed, Nori, Rehma, Soomra, Halepota, Higorja, Juneja, Lanja, Sama, Memom, Bajeer, Rind, Dal, Sand, Dhoat, Theba
Non-Muslim: Barhaman, Lohana, Masheswari, Sonara, Shoother, Rajput, Dewan, Bheel, Lohar, Kolhi, Bawa, Virtia, Hindu, Nai, Bhangi.
Literacy Rate: 18.32%
Annual Average Growth Rate: 3.13%
Languages: Sindhi, Urdu, Dhaki, Balochi, Saraiki, Gujrati, Parkari & Thari.
DISASTER RISKS IN THARPARKAR
The disasters in the Tharparkar district can be divided into two categories such as Natural and man-made. The ongoing drought is having highly negative impact on the food security and nutrition situation of rural communities. Several factors have contributed to increasing food insecurity, including significant losses of livelihoods so the droughts for rural communities and reduced the cereal stock in the region. The crisis was initially highlighted when media reported deaths of nearly 161 children in three months (Dec 13 – Feb 14) during a drought crisis in Tharparkar. The death toll continued increasing and raised up to 300; over 300,000 families were affected and 1.2 million are at high risk as drought condition worsens in peak summer season. The crisis crept in adjoining areas and Cholistan region was also affected.
MALNUTRITION IN THARPARKAR
Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. It may involve calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamin or minerals.
Undernourishment is most often due to not enough high-quality food being available to eat. This is often related to high food prices and poverty. Efforts to improve nutrition are some of the most effective forms of development aid
Malnutrition increases the risk of infection and infectious disease, and moderate malnutrition weakens every part of the immune system
Major causes of malnutrition include poverty and food prices, dietary practices and agricultural productivity, with many individual cases being a mixture of several factors.
76% of population does not have food at their home, they usually eat Fried Chili only. 88% household has Zero income, more than 97% population lives in the villages located in the desert and at off-road commuting distance of 20 KM or more from the nearest market / healthcare facility. PNC (Provincial Nutrition Cell), Dept. Of Health report the GAM rate for Tharparkar region at 21%. The data obtained from THQ Mithi, Nagarparkar and Chachoro also reveal both SAM (severe acute malnutrition) and MAM (moderate acute malnutrition) to be very high.