Hope is still alive

A 35-year old farmer Utam s/o Laloo lives in a village Aaklo, located at 20 km away from Diplo town in Tharparkar district.

The family depends on livestock rearing, which in rain-dependent Thar desert is considered primary source of livelihood for the communities. They also cultivate a piece of land whenever the area receives rainfall in monsoon season.

Utam’s family owns 8 goats, which earlier in green patches of sand dunes were considered healthy and better assets to have milk and yogurt to feed entire family and children. Somehow they used to sell animal if needed to meet the domestic needs. But due to persistent drought they are facing hardships to feed the same animals to have more milk.

Presently, the area is under grip of drought and dryness due to delayed monsoon rains. In this situation neither they cultivate crops nor find suitable job to earn little to feed their family. They are unable to rear their animals because the dryness has burnt vegetation and plants, which otherwise were considered nutritious diet for animals.

Utam’s tale is quite different as this year he could not move to canal areas of Sindh province to feed his animals as usual. The reason was that he wanted to take care of his ailing father. Apart from this, due to his own weaker health, he did not have confidence to travel long distance with animals.

The severe drought condition has put the family to live under stress without source of income. In such circumstances fodder for livestock remained another big challenge to save their traditional assets, animals. Utam finds a work occasionally to earn Rs200 only, which is not enough to meet the demand of family for many days.

Sindh Rural Partners Organization (SRPO) during its disaster-emergency response identified livestock holding families of the desert area to provide them fodder free of cost so they may keep their animals safe during drought.

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SRPO in collaboration with Concern World Wide-Rapid Fund & USAID has provided relief to the most vulnerable households of the areas. Utam was among beneficiary families to have fodder to feed his animals.

Due to shortage of fodder for cattle, farmers did not have any option other than selling their valuable assets on very low price to feed their children. But when he received fodder for 2 months he heaved a sigh of relief to save animals. The provision of fodder in such a grim situation remained source of encouragement and ray of hope for cattle farmers in Thar desert.

Though the fodder was not enough to feed animals for long time, he was much thankful to SRPO and CWW-RF for this support.

“This support fodder and Wanda gave us a confidence to feed animals,” he said. He expressed the hope to see his livestock healthy and milk productive.

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