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January 14, 2015

Drought triggers huge migration in Rajanpur, DG Khan


January 14, 2015

DERA GHAZI KHAN: A vast belt of Rajanpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts is facing a drought-like situation, which is leading to the migration of large population to the canal-irrigated areas in search of food, fodder and work.
Though exact figures are not available, but a long belt starting from the border of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the north to the border of Sindh in the south is facing the situation, with a length of over 400 kilometres. The drought-struck areas are now presenting a deserted-look because large population has migrated to other rural areas where they could find work as well as drinking water daily. Seven tummans, including Qaisrani, Buzdar, Khosa, Lound, Leghari, Gorchani and Mazari, were the worst areas facing drought-like situation. The belt along the foothills of the Suleman Ranges in the west has no exception, which is stretched over an area of 30-40 kilometres.
The migrating families said the standing crops, particularly wheat, had been dried due to scarcity of water where the only source is rainwater or hill torrents after heavy rains on the mountainous regions. Yousaf Khosa, a resident of the tribal area Tumman Khosa, told The News that the signs of life were diminishing due to the acute shortage of drinking water. “Those capable of managing water have not left their native villages, but most of poor families that depend on agriculture for their livelihood have migrated to other areas.”
Sajjad Baloch, a social worker, said that whenever drought hit the rain-fed area, thee poverty graph jumped automatically as tribesmen were already living below the poverty line due to minimum resources.
He said that in the past, a project titled Dera Ghazi Khan Rural Development Project was designed and implemented, but its impact could not address and mitigate the issue as large-scale violations were observed.

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