Climate Change and Drought: Impact of Food Insecurity on Gender Based Vulnerability in District Tharparkar

Manzoor Hussain Memon, Naveed Aamir, Nadeem Ahmed

Abstract


Climate change has now become a reality that has intensified
the sufferings of people living in arid ecosystems. Decrease in
rainfall, rise in temperature and increase in the frequency of extreme
events are some of the changes observed in the semi-arid desert of
district Tharparkar. For thousands of years, people of Tharparkar are
coping with drought and aridity of the land by using indigenous
knowledge. However, global changes in the climatic pattern and
deterioration of social and economic conditions have pushed the
inhabitants of this arid region into extreme vulnerable situation. This
paper investigates the link between climate-induced natural disasters,
particularly drought, from the perspective of changing climate patterns
which have resulted in food insecurity and water scarcity. The paper
analyses the rainfall pattern in the last 38 years—dividing it into two
periods i.e. from 1975-1994 and 1995-2014. The findings of the paper
have challenged the prevailing notions about aridity and rainfall
patterns in Tharparkar district. The research found that there is an
increase in average annual precipitation in the district with erratic
patterns. Thus, the nature of drought in the district has changed from
its historic pattern of less or no rainfall to more but erratic rainfall
that is more threatening to livelihoods of the people that in turn have
multiplier effect on water and food insecurity. In particularly, women
are more vulnerable in the absence of social security and lack of basic
necessities for their survival amidst drought. For instance,
traditionally the burden of managing water resources falls on women,
which leads to an increased work load during the time of drought and
also water scarcity. JEL Classification: Q54, Q56, Q25, I30 Keywords:
Climate, Environment and Development, Drought, Water, Poverty

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v57i3pp.307-321

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