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Research and Development Foundation (RDF) under KNH-BMZ funded climate change Sanghar project, organized two days training cum exposure visit on climate change for the senior government officials of district Sanghar in collaboration with Pakistan Meteorological Department in Islamabad from 7-8 August 2017, that was attended by Deputy Commissioner Sanghar, Chaimran Local Government of Sangar district, two additional deputy commissioners, district health officer, district education officer, district forest officer and 15 other district officials from livestock, agriculture, information and DDMA departments.

Director General Met Department Dr Ghulam Rasool and Mr. Sajid Gulzar Country Coordinator KNH Pakistan team talked on the occasion and inaugurated the training.

Training

The deputy commissioner Sanghar and officials demanded installation of Weather station in Sanghar based on the need. RDF has been advocating and lobbying with district authorities and Met Department since last two years for the same and it mobilized district administration for the same. This demand finally has been accepted by PMD today. Respecting the demand of RDF and communities of Sanghar, PMD announced to install weather station in Sanghar. In his opening remarks, DG PMD said Met department would install the station in next three months in coordination with district authorities and RDF. The Deputy Commissioner announced to donate Government plot in Sanghar for this cause. DC said that this initiative would strengthen early warning in the district.

Proceedings

Two days training has been held in a hotel in Islamabad where trainers from Pak Met Department and Pak Agriculture Research Council delivered sessions on climate change science, threats and mitigation measures from a scientific and social perspective. Delegates also visited Met department’s forecasting system and resilient agriculture and water models established by PARC.

Training 2

Director General PMD, Dr Ghulam Rasool

While talking as Chief Guest, DG described climate risks and vulnerability of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan is among top countries in the world most vulnerable to climate induced threats. He said that there is immense need of awareness raising on climate change in the country. New threats are yet to be witnessed from climate change, he added. This issue can not been not be tackled alone, as its magnitude is wide and affects many sectors, rather it is complex, first to be understood and later be addressed with multi-hands, Dr Ghulam Rasool said. Civil society has a key role to play for awareness raising in the country. He appreciated KNH and RDF for their continued efforts in training and sensitization of district authorities and communities about local level adaptation. He said, PMD is in process of installation of a RADAR in Sukkar of that the covered would be around 400 kilometers. That initiative would strengthen disaster early warning system in its surrounding too. Further he told the audience that PMD has realization of the need of a weather station or observatory in district Sanghar to strengthen early warning system and provide real time data to district authorities for timely precautions. PMD would also install rain gauges at ten various locations in the district, for that he asked Deputy Commissioner to identify locations and share with them. He also asked that District officials should maintain rain gauges and collect and provide data to PMD as data can be feed in the main system.

Training 3

Zohaib Mushtaq, DC Sanghar

Before the address of DG Met, DC Sanghar Mr. Zohaib Mushtaque said that district Sanghar is leading on production of cotton in the country, the crop that highly vulnerable to impacts of weather. A small amount of shower damages entire standing crop of cotton in the district. Thus there is need of meteorological station in district to educate farmers. He told that cotton producers need to adapt to climate change thereby. He said that have launched early warning system in the district with cellular network coverage, in order to spread early warning advisories to majority of communities and district officials. This would help in reducing disaster impacts. DC also appreciated efforts of RDF and KNH for training of their officials. He said that very senior authorities are attending this training to learn climate change and take measures in their various departmental plans. Mr. Zohaib Mushtaque announced to provide plot in a government building or nearby in Sanghar to PMD for establishment of Meteorological station in Sanghar. 

 Training 4

Sajid Gulzar, Country Coordinator KNH

Mr. Sajid Gulzar, country Coordinator Kindernothilfe (KNH) told that this a very successful case study of a collaborative initiative of district administration sanghar and RDF for capacity building of district authorities under a project which KNH and German Federal Ministry for economic cooperation and development is funding. He said in past there was no or very limited cooperation between NGOs and government, that led to trust deficit. He said that NGOs have to closely work with government in order to sustain the interventions and increase impact of development programs. He said that KNH is taking efforts to support communities of Tharparkar, Tando Allahyar and Tharparkar district to be prepared and adaptive to climate change.

Training 5

Ashfaque Soomro, Acting Executive Director RDF

Mr. Ashfaque, while speaking to the inaugural session said that climate change is a matter of human security now, which needs serious attention of all stakeholders. He further added that Sanghar district is highly climate sensitive, Sanghar is challenged by multi-disasters, on one hand rain flood and breaches in canals damage public and private infrastructure, to the other hand witnesses sever drought in its Achro Thar area. Water logging and salinity is another slow disaster in many parts of Jam Nawaz Ali and Khipro Talukas that is badly affecting agriculture productivity thus further aggravating rural poverty and state of food insecurity. He said RDF is taking swift actions to demonstrate resilient agriculture practices and models in Sanghar, that can resist with climate induced threats to water and soil. He briefed participants on the contribution of KNH and RDF in district Sanghar.

Later district officials visited PMS and visited forecasting system of PMD. 

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