KARACHI/BADN Mohammad Ismail Rahu, the Provincial Minister of Sindh for Universities & Boards, Environment, Climate Change and Coastal Development, who was the chief guest at the event held in a hotel here on Wednesday said, “When we consider the rural areas of Sindh, like Badin, there is a colossal impact of climate change. While we know that climate change is rapid and adverse, we also know that compared to previous years, local communities have adopted new techniques to be more resilient against it. They are responsive and understand the risks associated with climate change”.
Talking about water scarcity, he added, “A lot of people have suffered, especially communities in the lowest coastal belt. There has been the loss of agricultural land, wildlife, and almost every aspect of their lives has been adversely impacted by water scarcity. ” We are foreseeing climate-induced migration and action is necessary. He commended the Australian Government on the work they are doing with Oxfam and its partners and highlighted that the Pakistani government will stand with such noble initiatives” Rahu added.
In his address, Oxfam in Pakistan’s Program Manager for the Climate Change, Resilience, and Humanitarian Program Sardar Iftikhar Ahmed Khan said, “Oxfam has worked in Pakistan to improve livelihoods, provide humanitarian aid, create safer communities and promote economic and gender justice. We have supported local partners and worked with government authorities to improve the livelihoods of those living in poverty while providing humanitarian assistance to those affected by disasters and conflict. We believe that the right to life and security – while taking precedence in an emergency – must be linked to other rights if people are to take control of their lives and raise themselves out of poverty. ” We have gathered here today with all relevant stakeholders to celebrate our successes,” he added. He said Oxfam in Pakistan has been working since 1973 to ensure that all its people – especially women and girls – are able to exercise their rights, have access to basic services and economic resources. Oxfam has a long and well-recognized record of humanitarian relief in times of crisis – delivering high quality lifesaving assistance and essential protection to the most affected. Oxfam celebrated its journey in humanitarian, climate change and resilience work along with its local partners, media, academia, the private sector, think tanks and the government in Karachi and Badin district.
The event showcased Oxfam’s Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate change and resilience work through presentations and panel discussions. A documentary featuring Oxfam’s humanitarian journey since 1973 was also screened.
The discussions highlighted how Oxfam and its partners strengthened the resilience of poor and marginalised women, men, and children to realise their rights and improved their well-being despite shocks, stresses, and uncertainty.Success stories were shared about Oxfam’s contribution in the development of the national climate change policy of Pakistan, creating climate smart agricultural solutions in coastal communities, developing an embankment to protect communities in Badin from sea intrusion and developing local adaptation plans of action for climate change and food security.
A key feature of the event was the Building Resilient Communitiesin Pakistan (BRCP) Project funded by the Australian Government.
The key successes of the Project, especially in promoting alternative livelihoods, climate smart agriculture, leveraging technology in agriculture and disaster risk reduction sector, were highlighted during the event through documentary screenings, publications, and discussions. Community members, representatives of Civil Society Organizations, District and Provincial Government in Badin, andpolicy makers were a part of the event. Mr. John Snobar, Second Secretary Political from Australian High Commission in Pakistan was also present at the event and said “The Australian High Commission congratulates Oxfam and all partners involved in this important project focused on improving resilience. Australia has been a longstanding development partner of Pakistan in the agriculture and water sector – this important project helps strengthen community responses to adverse climate change impacts in Pakistan.”
The event provided a common platform to share achievements and celebrate the efforts of Oxfam and its partners in advocating for policies and practices that would ensure that people living in poverty, especially women, claim power in the way their countries manage land, water and climate change, overcome social and economic inequalities and become part of inclusive businesses in value chains allowing them to enjoy their wellbeing, rights and claim a fair share.