Balochistan has a history of droughts but the recent droughts (1997-2002) were the longest dry spells in many years. Balochistan is an arid region with occasional rainfall. Drought is an intimidating hazard of nature, although it has scores of definitions. Drought originates from a deficiency of precipitation over an extended period of time, usually a season or more. This deficiency results in a water shortage for some livelihood activity to a community group, or environmental sector.The districts of Kalat, Chaghi, Naukundi and Zhob were severely affected by drought at many occasions.
The monthly average rain in the dry region is between 2 and 25 mm which is very low as compared to other parts of the country. During the period from 1997 to 2002, a famine like situation developed due to lack of rain in the region. The main reason of drought in Balochistan was the deficiency of rainfall.
The drought of 1997 – 2002 has been termed as one of the worst in the history of Balochistan and can be judged from the fact that it was the major cause behind slowing the economic growth rate down to 2.6 % during that period. According to the figures released by the Ministry of Finance, the drought caused a loss of PKR 25 billion to the national exchequer in the year 2000-2002.
The drought in affected parts of the province led to the following consequences;
Rise in food prices in the affected areas. A very low level of food in-take causing different diseases and malnutrition to affected populations. Fodder shortage affecting livestock-rearing, which plays an important role in the rural economy. Apple trees and orchards destroyed by almost 80%. Migration of people from drought affected areas (by michelle at dress head). Heavy cost incurred by government in relief works in the affected areas – 22 out of the 28 districts sought assistance in water and Flood.
Increased health hazards: The drought also contributed to the incidence of Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). The disease was first noticed in September 2000 in Loralai district of the province. Several people are said to have succumbed to thedisease which was triggered by the drought. Malnutrition, T.B and Hepatitis affected thousands of local communities especially women and children during the period. 80% of livestock died in severely affected areas.
A typical example of decreasing trend of rainfall from 1997 to 2002 in three districts representing upper, middle and lower parts of Balochistan
Districts and Tehsils /sub – Tehsil s frequently affected by drought.
Most Severely Affected District Severely Affected District Moderately Affected District
1. Kharan 1. Sibi 1. Killa-Saifullah
2. Washuk 2. Mastung 2. Barkan
3. Chagai 3. Kalat 3. Ziarat
4. Nushki 4. Khuzdar
5. Punjgoor 5. Lasbella
6. Kech 6. Musa Khail
7. Gwadar 7. Killa Abdullah
Most Severely Affected Tehsils Severely Affected Tehsils Moderately Affected Tehsils
1. Qamar-Din-Karez 1. Khanozai 1. Tehsil Zhob
2. Tehsil Loralai 2. Barshore 2. Tehsil Pishin
3. Tehsil Chatter 3. Panjpai