Animals, birds are dying in Sindh’s Achro Thar, people could be next

Animals, birds are dying in Sindh’s Achro Thar, people could be next


Dozens of the goats, sheep, cows and camels have died in drought-stricken Achro Thar of Sindh and there are reports about death of a large number of peacocks in this arid region. Locals including politician Atta Chaniho believe people will start dying next if government doesn’t start relief efforts.

Despite reports of the deaths in the region, Sanghar districts government and Sindh government have not started any relief work in the area.

Achro Thar — as it is called — has lesser vegetation compared to Sindh's another vast spread, Thar Desert. This unique White Desert has a very low underground water level and has always remained a lesser priority in the government schemes.

Located in eastern side of Sindh and spread over 4,805 square kilometers along the Indian border in Sanghar and Khairpur districts of Sindh, Achro Thar is a unique desert with vastly scattered white sand dunes. Despite spread over such vast area, Achro Thar only comprises four union councils and the total population is only around 60,000.

Achro Thar or White Desert, is one of the most backward areas of Pakistan and is often affected with droughts due to which the underground water level drops drastically causing the area to run out of fodder for animals and food for people. Thus, when there is drought, animals and birds start dying in first phase and people in the second.

Thar Desert is fertile and when it rains, it transforms into lush green field ending the drought but Achro Thar is barren and even if there is rain, it doesn't get much vegetation. 

Atta Chaniho, a local politician and former member of Sanghar District Council confirmed that a large number of animals and birds have died in the area but these deaths are not reported by the mainstream media. Talking to Daily Times, he said that there is no rainfall for past four years, but the situation has worsened this year. "Though, Achro Thar is not fertile as Thar Desert, we get some grass for animals after it rained, but in past few years, despite heavy rains there is no grass at all due to climate change," he said.

Chaniho said that due to increasing population, people in this unique desert have started using pasture land for living, which has also contributed in worsening situation. "Livestock is the only source of livelihood, but mostly government relief is restricted to people, due to which relief is not giving required results," he added.

Though the Sindh government recently introduced a pipeline to supply river water to the area, the scheme is also limited to a small portion and the water is distributed on political basis.

"Government must start relief work before children start dying in this region," said Ali Muhammad Rajar, a resident of Hathongo town.

Achro Thar or White Desert is another desert of Sindh. But unlike Thar Desert, this arid region is barren with very little vegetation

 

Achro Thar or White Desert has only 60,000 population

 

Locals of Achro Thar are totally dependent on livestock

 

In the first phase of ongoing severe drought animals have started dying in Achro Thar

 

Locals are worried about the deaths of livestock and they demand government to start relief work

 

People in this region have started treating their ailing animals on self-help basis, however, it is not the diseases but hunger is killing animals

 

This unique White Desert has deeply low underground water level and it is contaminated with fluoride contaminations

 

Locals in White Desert use donkey, camel and other animals to pull water from dug wells

 

Experts say that in second phase of the drought, children will be victim of hunger in Achro Thar

 

A mother is showing a child who suffers with skin diseases. Children are the worst victim of drought

 

A women lying in her hut is paralysed due to fluoride contamination in the ground water