Impacts of climate change in vulnerable communities in Sindh

Pakistan is one of the most climate change-prone nations in the world. It is listed as one of the top five most afflicted nations worldwide. The southernmost province of Pakistan, Sindh, stands to suffer not just directly from local climatic and meteorological changes but also from weather activity in the rest of the country. Climate change is making farming ‘more challenging with each passing day’. The majority of Pakistan’s second-most populous and agriculture-dependent province of Sindh suffered the most due to climate change. Heavy floods make it impossible to farm and produce a high output. Sindh’s wheat harvest is down by nearly 20%. Experts say the disaster shows that the problems caused by climate change are growing, and adaptation initiatives in agriculture are urgently needed urgently. People of the Sindh has a soul connection with the fields. They give everything for their land because the land is their only source of income. In the long run, due to climate change, heavy rainfall and flooding wiped out everything, including their hope and finances. The Pakistani province of Sindh is situated in an area of extreme heat, and conditions may become worse if temperatures rise as a result of climate change. Furthermore, because Sindh is situated in the Indus River’s southernmost portion, it stands to lose not only from local climatic and weather changes but also from weather events in the Indus River’s upstream region and from coastal surroundings.

According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, agriculture contributed 22.7% of Pakistan’s gross domestic product in the 2021–22 financial year, compared with 23% in 2020–21. This was despite the growth rate in the sector increasing to 4.4% in 2021–22 from 3.5% in 2020–21. The share of agriculture in Pakistan’s GDP has steadily declined over the years. Based on the latest data, this year the decline will likely be combined with a deep drop in output. Women used to labor in the fields in inner Sindh, but as a result of climate change, they are no longer employed. Their quality of life suffers as a result of the low literacy rate. ” Women make up the vast bulk of the workforce in Pakistan’s agriculture. However, this monsoon has mostly rendered farmers, and women in particular, unemployed. Long commutes for farmers to work in agriculture have cost them those possibilities. Since it is already challenging for women to get around, particularly in rural Pakistan, flooded roads only make matters worse. As a result, women are more likely than men to lose their jobs.

Apart from farming, small farmers rely on their livestock as a source of income, particularly in rain-fed regions like Sindh’s mountainous and arid regions. Climate change may have an impact on cattle in these regions through the spread of parasitic macroparasites, vector-borne diseases, and a lack of feed owing to droughts. Given their heavy reliance on producing livestock, this means a drive towards chronic poverty for rural households and Thar Desert residents. High temperatures are predicted to have an influence on livestock productivity as well; the effects could include physiological stress on animals, decreased milk and meat production, stressful conception, increased water requirements, and increased reliance on fodder crops. According to a World Bank study, Sindh is experiencing a significant problem with fish depletion along the shore as a result of the deltaic section of the Indus being drier and saltier as a result of receiving scant amounts of fresh water. Some fish species are on the verge of extinction, while others have already gone extinct. For the people of Sindh, climate change is dangerous because it is destroying all forms of economic activity. Additionally, changes in fish species’ range, growth rates, and oxygen availability have all been brought on by temperature increases.

Smaller farms typically experience greater impact than larger producers. Due to the size of their landholdings, small landholders are more severely affected than bigger landholders when a natural disaster strikes since more of their land is washed away. Small farmers lose a greater percentage of their income in the event of a natural disaster. In Sindh, 68% of the rural population is involved in agriculture, which indicates a substantial reliance on the industry. Additionally, any significant declines in agricultural yield brought on by climate change have a negative impact on those whose primary source of income is agriculture. If no expenditures are made to counteract climate change, it could further lower their living standards. According to a World Bank study, Pakistani households’ income may drop by around 2% as a result of climate change. Sindh loves their land and is sincere with their work, but shocking waves of climate change make it impossible for them to sustain the good agricultural sector in the long run. People are not wealthy enough to bear the loss of their land continuously.