In partnership with the Africa Centre from Zimbabwe and Nighat Hasnain from the UK, SI recently took a trip to Pakistan to evaluate the feasibility of a large scale project in the Sindh province. The purpose of the field visit was to identify and evaluate an area and/or community that was experiencing some of the greatest pressures of land degradation, water scarcity and vulnerability. The team visited three communities in the Tharparkar region in addition to three livestock breeding government farms. Up to three sites will be chosen which will include two community villages and one government farm.
Pakistan has an area of 87.98 million hectares and lies in the sub-tropics with an area of which 60% is estimated to be rangeland. The region faces enormous pressures with a burgeoning population of 183 million people in 2006 and growing. The country is facing serious land degradation and it is estimated that the country is losing 40 million hectares every year to desertification, salination and waterlogging. The team spent most its time in the region of Tharparkar in the Sindh province.
Tharparkar is a semi-arid desert, with an average annual rainfall between 150-300 mm mainly falling between the months of June and September. The region has a population of around 1.4 million spread over an area of 19,638 km2. Livestock population is projected around 6.5 million, the largest for any region in Sindh. Number of animal head/household varies with some having as many as 200-500 cows, or 100 camels whereas others would have only 4-5.
After the team initial evaluation of the land, livestock, communities and government farms, the team is confident that Holistic Management is not only relevant, but could be hugely impactful in the region. We are excited about working with the government of Sindh to create a sustainable solution to degrading land and eroding communities. We hope to see an initial project begin in late 2017.