Helping vulnerable communities to live a safe life

This story is based on Community Vulnerability Assessment made by WWF Pakistan. This report attempts to highlight the risks facing coastal communities that inhabit Jiwani (Gwader District of Balochistan), and Kharo Chan and Keti Bunder (Thatta District of Sindh).

This study presents a brief overview of how climate change, even within a short span of 10-20 years, is causing irreversible harm to the Indus Delta Eco-region and its inhabitants. The voices of the Indus Delta’s inhabitants will lead the way to a greater understanding of how this landscape is changing. It intends to serve as a clarion call to government officials, policy-makers, civil society organisations, donors, and concerned bystanders that the survival of the Indus Delta and its inhabitants, humans and animals, is at stake.

Subsistence agriculture, in the areas where CCAP works, is an important source of food and income for poor and vulnerable communities. Since agriculture is highly sensitive to climate variability and change, it is a key area of adaptation. These key points should stimulate greater urgency in addressing vulnerability among poor communities in coastal Sindh and Balochistan.

As communities living in coastal areas, and elsewhere, face changes in temperature, rainfall patterns, and depletion of freshwater supplies, improving water storage and making irrigation water supply and use efficient becomes paramount. While these changes will threaten productivity in irrigated areas, areas such as Jiwani will become even more vulnerable to drought and changing precipitation patterns.

It is considered that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and media have a great potential for communicating climate change information, and encouraging adaptive behaviour among audiences i.e. vulnerable communities and people.  ICT can be used to record data and information, transform data and information into shareable knowledge, and communicate this knowledge in easily comprehensible and appealing ways. Effective use of ICT does not rely on vast capital or investment outlays. In fact, the main part of adaptation activities can be realised at a small scale, with little investment, and can be built on existing communication systems.

In addition to providing vital weather and early warning information to farmers, fishers and local communities, ICTs can also be used for other resilience building measures. For instance, farmers can be provided with phone contacts of agricultural extension workers and livestock health workers to access advice and support on treating crops and livestock, seed varieties, planting times and methods. Market access for fishers and farmers can be improved by providing them with phone contact lists of traders from nearby markets so that they can inform themselves on market rates for their products, and can negotiate better prices.

Peoples experience learning also contributed to design strategies, provide alternative source of earnings.

Read the story here.

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