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In Pictures: Pakistan's parched Thar desert
Drop in rainfall has pushed residents of the area into a state of 'severe food insecurity'.
Last updated: 20 Mar 2014 20:33
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Mithi, Pakistan - Pakistan's Thar desert, in the southeastern Tharparkar district, is home to about a million residents, and is a harsh landscape in which to eke out an existence in the best of times.

Since March 7, relief goods have been streaming into the area from all over the country, in the wake of a widely reported "drought".

Local residents say that while there is not significantly less water than there usually is during this dry winter season, the 30 percent drop in rainfall over the monsoons has significantly affected them. Out here, residents live on the edge of survival, and the smallest pressure from the climate can push them into extreme poverty or malnutrition, says Zaffar Junejo, the chief of the Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP), which has been working in this area for the last 18 years.

Tharparkar is one of the country's most food insecure districts, with the WFP declaring residents to be in a state of "severe food insecurity". Health is another major concern, with 47 percent of Tharparkar's children categorised as "malnourished".

Further, 378,600 people here are categorised as being either "critically poor" or "vulnerably poor", according to an extensive TRDP survey.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
The Thar desert stretches for about 19,000 sqr km, and while it does feature some vegetation, most of it is small bushes and trees. In the dry winter season, the more accessible bushes and grasses tend to dry out and die, cutting off a major supply of fodder for livestock.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Spread over 22,000 sqr km, Tharparkar district is home to 1.6 million residents in total - most of them living in the Thar desert, which makes it one of the most densely populated deserts in the world.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
"I don't know why my child is so weak," says Mubarak, 35, a daily wage labourer from Dharamkot, whose child is admitted to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Respiratory infections are a major reason for infant mortality in this district.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Relief goods have flooded into Mithi, the main town in the district, since the "drought" got national attention, but residents and local organisations say more long-term, directed aid is needed.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Ganga Bibi, 60, sits in Mithi's Nutrition Stabilisation Ward with her 18-month-old granddaughter, Deepa. She says there are 25-30 sick children in her village of Miajuthar. Tharparkar has an infant mortality rate of 87 per 1,000 births, as compared to the national average of 69.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Livestock, including cows, goats and sheep, form a major part of the livelihood of most residents in Tharparkar. Many have died due to disease or starvation in the dry season.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
For these rural communities, the residents' lives revolve around access to water, both for themselves and for their animals. Many told Al Jazeera that wells, such as this one, that previously provided fresh water, now only have undrinkable saline water.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
"When it rains, everything is better," says Muhammad Malook, 58, a resident of a small village about 20km from Mithi. "We cannot leave here, we just keep looking to God to bring rain, and to strengthen our livestock."


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Many villages also collectively own camels in Tharparkar, whose milk they use to supplement their diets.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Nalo Malhar, 38, owns about 50 heads of livestock, but says he is being forced to sell his goats in order to pay for his household expenses.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Aemina Bibi, 35, has had 11 children, of whom four have died within their first two years of life due to pneumonia and diarrhea. These two ailments are the leading cause for child mortality in Tharparkar. Doctors say deaths due to these diseases are easily avoided if mothers follow basic hygiene and health practices.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Niamat Bibi, 50, says that 30 or 40 years ago, she remembered how food was more plentiful, and her family would have wheat, butter and honey, as opposed to simple meals of chillis and bread. "It is only because there is no rain," she says.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Allah Johrio, 70, is the head of a household of 12 people, which is a typical size for most families in this area.


/Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Most residents of Thar live in tiny villages - often with no more than 10 households - in these traditional mud-and-thatch huts.



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images:
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captions:
The Thar desert stretches for about 19,000 sqr km, and while it does feature some vegetation, most of it is small bushes and trees. In the dry winter season, the more accessible bushes and grasses tend to dry out and die, cutting off a major supply of fodder for livestock.;*;Spread over 22,000 sqr km, Tharparkar district is home to 1.6 million residents in total - most of them living in the Thar desert, which makes it one of the most densely populated deserts in the world.;*;"I don\(***)t know why my child is so weak," says Mubarak, 35, a daily wage labourer from Dharamkot, whose child is admitted to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Respiratory infections are a major reason for infant mortality in this district.;*;Relief goods have flooded into Mithi, the main town in the district, since the "drought" got national attention, but residents and local organisations say more long-term, directed aid is needed.;*;Ganga Bibi, 60, sits in Mithi\(***)s Nutrition Stabilisation Ward with her 18-month-old granddaughter, Deepa. She says there are 25-30 sick children in her village of Miajuthar. Tharparkar has an infant mortality rate of 87 per 1,000 births, as compared to the national average of 69.;*;Livestock, including cows, goats and sheep, form a major part of the livelihood of most residents in Tharparkar. Many have died due to disease or starvation in the dry season.;*;For these rural communities, the residents\(***) lives revolve around access to water, both for themselves and for their animals. Many told Al Jazeera that wells, such as this one, that previously provided fresh water, now only have undrinkable saline water.;*;"When it rains, everything is better," says Muhammad Malook, 58, a resident of a small village about 20km from Mithi. "We cannot leave here, we just keep looking to God to bring rain, and to strengthen our livestock.";*;Many villages also collectively own camels in Tharparkar, whose milk they use to supplement their diets.;*;Nalo Malhar, 38, owns about 50 heads of livestock, but says he is being forced to sell his goats in order to pay for his household expenses.;*;Aemina Bibi, 35, has had 11 children, of whom four have died within their first two years of life due to pneumonia and diarrhea. These two ailments are the leading cause for child mortality in Tharparkar. Doctors say deaths due to these diseases are easily avoided if mothers follow basic hygiene and health practices.;*;Niamat Bibi, 50, says that 30 or 40 years ago, she remembered how food was more plentiful, and her family would have wheat, butter and honey, as opposed to simple meals of chillis and bread. "It is only because there is no rain," she says.;*;Allah Johrio, 70, is the head of a household of 12 people, which is a typical size for most families in this area. ;*;Most residents of Thar live in tiny villages - often with no more than 10 households - in these traditional mud-and-thatch huts. Daylife ID:
39e4cf2309b162a15b080de412475222
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera;*;Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Thar famine Pakistanhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistanen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Sat, 15 Mar 2014 14:11:22 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/d83e6432b97be9ae4b45876fbb37f3ec

The Thar desert stretches for about 19,000 sqr km, and while it does feature some vegetation, most of it is small bushes and trees. In the dry winter season, the more accessible bushes and grasses tend to dry out and die, cutting off a major supply of fodder for livestock.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/d83e6432b97be9ae4b45876fbb37f3ecAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

The Thar desert stretches for about 19,000 sqr km, and while it does feature some vegetation, most of it is small bushes and trees. In the dry winter season, the more accessible bushes and grasses tend to dry out and die, cutting off a major supply of fodder for livestock.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/49c42bf5684e142c4a2ffccb817cd9e9

Spread over 22,000 sqr km, Tharparkar district is home to 1.6 million residents in total - most of them living in the Thar desert, which makes it one of the most densely populated deserts in the world.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/49c42bf5684e142c4a2ffccb817cd9e9Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Spread over 22,000 sqr km, Tharparkar district is home to 1.6 million residents in total - most of them living in the Thar desert, which makes it one of the most densely populated deserts in the world.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/31c11ea828b4235b5c7861b08f3b628d

"I don't know why my child is so weak," says Mubarak, 35, a daily wage labourer from Dharamkot, whose child is admitted to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Respiratory infections are a major reason for infant mortality in this district.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/31c11ea828b4235b5c7861b08f3b628dAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

"I don't know why my child is so weak," says Mubarak, 35, a daily wage labourer from Dharamkot, whose child is admitted to the hospital with symptoms of pneumonia. Respiratory infections are a major reason for infant mortality in this district.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/9dba2ceb562f4897a1b77efe31118ac8

Relief goods have flooded into Mithi, the main town in the district, since the "drought" got national attention, but residents and local organisations say more long-term, directed aid is needed.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/9dba2ceb562f4897a1b77efe31118ac8Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Relief goods have flooded into Mithi, the main town in the district, since the "drought" got national attention, but residents and local organisations say more long-term, directed aid is needed.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/ae1d7bd80e7d6c5cbb847c5d9c107d18

Ganga Bibi, 60, sits in Mithi's Nutrition Stabilisation Ward with her 18-month-old granddaughter, Deepa. She says there are 25-30 sick children in her village of Miajuthar. Tharparkar has an infant mortality rate of 87 per 1,000 births, as compared to the national average of 69.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/ae1d7bd80e7d6c5cbb847c5d9c107d18Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Ganga Bibi, 60, sits in Mithi's Nutrition Stabilisation Ward with her 18-month-old granddaughter, Deepa. She says there are 25-30 sick children in her village of Miajuthar. Tharparkar has an infant mortality rate of 87 per 1,000 births, as compared to the national average of 69.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/00d1d8f7faa1925521c2e31fcdce81e4

Livestock, including cows, goats and sheep, form a major part of the livelihood of most residents in Tharparkar. Many have died due to disease or starvation in the dry season.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/00d1d8f7faa1925521c2e31fcdce81e4Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Livestock, including cows, goats and sheep, form a major part of the livelihood of most residents in Tharparkar. Many have died due to disease or starvation in the dry season.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/1ead4adccb3cfad5d618f2278a1bcba6

For these rural communities, the residents' lives revolve around access to water, both for themselves and for their animals. Many told Al Jazeera that wells, such as this one, that previously provided fresh water, now only have undrinkable saline water.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/1ead4adccb3cfad5d618f2278a1bcba6Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

For these rural communities, the residents' lives revolve around access to water, both for themselves and for their animals. Many told Al Jazeera that wells, such as this one, that previously provided fresh water, now only have undrinkable saline water.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/9c16fe4daa62f4bf15ec6e8737abe868

"When it rains, everything is better," says Muhammad Malook, 58, a resident of a small village about 20km from Mithi. "We cannot leave here, we just keep looking to God to bring rain, and to strengthen our livestock."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/9c16fe4daa62f4bf15ec6e8737abe868Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

"When it rains, everything is better," says Muhammad Malook, 58, a resident of a small village about 20km from Mithi. "We cannot leave here, we just keep looking to God to bring rain, and to strengthen our livestock."

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/48fd77a23436624e5fa577701c79ca1f

Many villages also collectively own camels in Tharparkar, whose milk they use to supplement their diets.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/48fd77a23436624e5fa577701c79ca1fAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Many villages also collectively own camels in Tharparkar, whose milk they use to supplement their diets.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/0b44ca6d0338333b2a7b47a9f8647732

Nalo Malhar, 38, owns about 50 heads of livestock, but says he is being forced to sell his goats in order to pay for his household expenses.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/0b44ca6d0338333b2a7b47a9f8647732Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Nalo Malhar, 38, owns about 50 heads of livestock, but says he is being forced to sell his goats in order to pay for his household expenses.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/ecf916f22531d8d84d156497c65f6f1e

Aemina Bibi, 35, has had 11 children, of whom four have died within their first two years of life due to pneumonia and diarrhea. These two ailments are the leading cause for child mortality in Tharparkar. Doctors say deaths due to these diseases are easily avoided if mothers follow basic hygiene and health practices.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/ecf916f22531d8d84d156497c65f6f1eAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Aemina Bibi, 35, has had 11 children, of whom four have died within their first two years of life due to pneumonia and diarrhea. These two ailments are the leading cause for child mortality in Tharparkar. Doctors say deaths due to these diseases are easily avoided if mothers follow basic hygiene and health practices.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/cf4f9622cdc93d07df52a27a5ea4476c

Niamat Bibi, 50, says that 30 or 40 years ago, she remembered how food was more plentiful, and her family would have wheat, butter and honey, as opposed to simple meals of chillis and bread. "It is only because there is no rain," she says.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/cf4f9622cdc93d07df52a27a5ea4476cAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Niamat Bibi, 50, says that 30 or 40 years ago, she remembered how food was more plentiful, and her family would have wheat, butter and honey, as opposed to simple meals of chillis and bread. "It is only because there is no rain," she says.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/35a77bbf6c133152327bdc79c44b85cc

Allah Johrio, 70, is the head of a household of 12 people, which is a typical size for most families in this area.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/35a77bbf6c133152327bdc79c44b85ccAsad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Allah Johrio, 70, is the head of a household of 12 people, which is a typical size for most families in this area.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/5dc8876cd1c776ebf3e735b4b4d70a06

Most residents of Thar live in tiny villages - often with no more than 10 households - in these traditional mud-and-thatch huts.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Thar_famine_Pakistan/slideshow/no-caption/5dc8876cd1c776ebf3e735b4b4d70a06Asad Hashim/Al Jazeera

Most residents of Thar live in tiny villages - often with no more than 10 households - in these traditional mud-and-thatch huts.



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