Famine claims two more in Tharparkar


PDMA issues emergency warnings for drought to provincial departments, including agriculture, irrigation and food

At least two more children died on Sunday due to food shortages in Thar mounting the death toll to 247 in a time span of 88 days.

A seven-day old Ali Muhammad died at Civil Hospital Mithi where he was under treatment, and another one-month old baby girl lost her life at Chachru Hospital.

Despite the government’s tall claims, no facilities have been provided to those affected by the famine. According to reports, six tehsildars refused to give wheat sacks to the victims in Thar.


Moreover, local media reported Sunday that a provincial minister has warned of a severe drought in Balochistan, due to the prolonged dry spell.

Mir Sarfraz Bugti said that his province has been facing severe drought because there has been little rainfall and snowfall this winter season.

Most of the deputy commissioners have produced reports to inform the PDMA about the drought situation in their respective districts. Another senior official of the PDMA said that the National Weather Forecasting Centre of the Pakistan Meteorological Department has also endorsed these reports.

Bugti said that his department has already started preparations to handle the situation, though he refused to share details of the preparations. “We have informed chief minister [Dr Abdul Malik Baloch] about the possible repercussions of the drought. The PDMA has also issued emergency warnings to all provincial departments, including agriculture, irrigation and food, regarding arrangements to tackle the situation,” he added.

An official of the provincial agriculture department, who has received said warning, told local media that the drought has severely affected the rain fed districts of Balochistan. More than 80 per cent of the districts are rain fed in the province. Agriculture being the backbone of the provincial economy provides employment to over 60 per cent of its population.