CED calls for setting up national drought fund


The Centre for Environment and Development (CED) has called for establishment of a permanent national drought fund to finance the government’s obligations of food security, agriculture, livestock development and water supply in the drought hits areas. The representatives of the CED including Prof Qalandar Shah, Nasir Ali Panhwar, Badar Abro, Dr Ali Murtaza Dharejo, Aziz Ranjhani and others made this demand here Sunday after a visited to the affected areas. In their statement, issued to the press, they pointed out that Nara, Kohistan and Kaacho should also be declared as calamity hit areas like Thar. “The relief measures should be undertaken in all these areas too,” they said. According to them, these areas were also facing continuous shortage of fodder and water due to the ongoing dry spell during the monsoon. “The situation is causing losses of livestock and has affected the life of the pastoral communities adversely,” they observed. They stressed that the impact of the present drought was much harsher than the past and only new strategies chalked out on the long term basis, could help the pastoral communities in combating their miseries. “It is imperative that efforts should be made for water harvesting, support for diversification of income sources, fodder development, tree plantation, restocking, food aid and vaccination for livestock,” they said. Panhwar said that there was a need of preparing a drought combating plan for all the arid zones of Sindh in consultation with the stakeholders representing government, NGOs, community and experts.