Rain brings smiles to Thar Desert people after three years of successive drought.
By: Gulab Rai,Islamkot, Thar, Sindh
From the first week of July 09 heavy rains have been falling on the whole of Thar Desert in Sindh province of Pakistan. Soon after the rainfall people have started ploughing their land and sowing seeds of traditional crops of bajra (millet) and guwar (cluster beans) in all the four talukas of Thar.
The people who had migrated to barrage areas in the time of severe droughts have started coming back to their native lands so that they can cultivate their lands after this long spell of heavy rain.
During the current monsoon 2009, the first light shower of rain fell on 5th and 6th July 2009 in few villages of Mithi and Nagarparkar Taluka of District Tharparkar, Sindh. There was another heavy shower in whole of Thar in 2nd and third week of July after an interval of 8 days. According to Met office Mithi, total 200 mm (40 to 80 mm on different dates) rainfall recorded in Mithi town till 22 July 09. However, the initially required rainfall is sufficient to grow grasses for 3.5 million livestock and cattle and sowing crops for 1.2 million human populations.
Normally, the rain falls after mid June but this year it started very late so the drought stricken people and their livestock suffered a lot.
This beautiful rain has given new life not only to the people but also to the livestock, wild life and the whole biodiversity of Tharparkar. One sad incidence was of peacocks which were dying in large number because of severity of drought and resultant acute shortage of water.
There has been a new culture of local tourism from last few years, as the rainfalls in Thar people living nearby they rush to see the natural beauty of Almighty in Thar.
Hope the rainfall will continue in August and September with the same intensity in order to allow the sown crops to mature and get harvested. The good harvest will enable people to celebrate social events like marriages of their sons and daughters as will as pay off their long standing loans to the money lenders.