Desertification of riverain area in

Sindh and extreme poverty  

m.h. panhwar

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Our attention is being drawn to lack of flood water in the riverain area during the past many years and total desertification. Our party has a program to resolve this problem by installing tube-wells, wherever water is sweet and in places it is not sweet, to bring it from other areas like barrages and canals. Our aim is to alleviate the rural poverty. The area has potential to absorb at least 2 million people. With periodic flooding and deposition of fertile silt, soils are highly productive, so the situation cannot go out of control if we plan properly. This has been ignored in the past 10 years.

The riverain area has remained neglected since commissioning of Turbela Dam. There have not been any suitable plans for providing water and people have migrated out of the riveraine areas adding in to their poverty and misery.

Some people have installed tube-wells but they are not considered satisfactory due to rise of water table in the inundation season and drop even by 15 feet before onset of next years floods. We will give priority to this study find out suitable type of tube-wells and various means to bring electric power to tube-well. Whatever land is available will be distributed among the landless farmers and even forest land can be leased out to landless farmers for short periods of not less than 8-10 years.

The encroachment sea water in the river bed has to be stopped and we will make suitable plan for this. We understand economics of more than two million acres of riverain land and will make suitable plans for restoring it much beyond its past glory. This will also include riverain fisheries, animal husbandry and forestry.

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