Fasiha Farrukh's Blog

Fasiha Farrukh, Young blogger from Pakistan.

Surviving Odds

Date: 11 October 2016

Author: Fasiha Farrukh

“Enduring in the drought- prone and sterile land is always challenging for inhabitants, especially when there is no resources and support available”, told Krithi, resident of the Thar region present in the southeast corner of Pakistan. “But with the help of these people, we now have developed water and agriculture system for our village”, Kirthi added further.

Thari women are attending village meeting. Photo: SCOPE

Kirthi was speaking about the project named Thari Women Project (TWP) run by an NGO called SCOPE (Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment). The distinctive feature about this project is that it has started operating with 2000 women from around 13 villages across the Tharparkar and Nagarparkar districts. The project has served 8,400 residents from eight villages with 1500 castes.

Under the South Asia development program, the TWP project has been funded by the Scottish government while Bioclimate project is assisted in terms of technical facilities, development, and grantee of the project.

Concentrating on the fact that the Thar region is water deprived that makes it challenging for the inhabitants to survive in hot weather. Moreover, scarcity of drinking water is a common issue too. Thus, the main objective of SCOPE was to construct wells and dissident tanks for stocking up the rainwater for tackling the climate pliability. For this, the technical consultation was provided by CED (Christians Engineers in Development).


Rainwater storage facility for the whole village. Photo: SCOPE

The inventive approach of Community Partnership Project (CPP), which is funded by Global Poverty Action Fund by UK Government, has made this project distinctive from any other rural projects as it has assisted women in improving their economic condition. Women are engaged in planting and supervising the scarce Guggal trees on the joint agricultural lands. These hard working women are paid as per their performances based on managing the trees while the gum obtained from these Guggal trees through organic methods is another source of income for these women and their families.

A woman (together with other villagers) is planting guggal trees in Thar. Photo: SCOPE

Other than economical support, this project has provided joint land rights, helped them in designing kitchen gardens and empowered them in village constitution. Men and women have been taught to improvise the agriculture in these drought areas of Thar region. Along with that, they are also supported in managing savings and loan programs in the villages.

Thari Women Project has helped the villages in the education sector as well. Especially, for girls' education, there are 607 Primary 14 Middle, and 7 secondary schools have been built. Earlier, it was difficult for the girls to reach out and get the education in a deserted developing area with the lowest number of facilities. Although, the girls under 18 are striving for education, but still the girl literacy rate is 6.91per cent only, which is concerning.

Kitchen gardens by Thar inhabitants with the support of SCOPE. Photo: SCOPE

With this step Project, SCOPE has unbolted many opportunities for the rural inhabitants who can get facilitated by them for a longer term. It is an appreciating thing that how this single project is actually meeting a number of Sustainable Development Goals like Goal # 1 No Poverty, #2 Zero Hunger, #13 Climate Action and most importantly, the Goal #5 Gender Equality.

These steps will be helpful for the upcoming generations of girls mainly, as they have opportunity to get education and take parts in village matters.

Reaching out to the rural areas is a greater challenge for the UN’s member states that could be met by partner shipping with the NGOs like SCOPE. Precise policies, funding, and implementation by the governments are required for making the Global Goals triumphant by the year 2030.

   

Fasiha Farrukh is a young Pakistan columnist at the Inflectionist and she also is one of the most active contributors for EmpowerWomen. Her personal thoughts and ideas including other stories of her daily life can found on Twitter: @FasihaFarrukh