Drought perceptions and coping strategies of drought-prone rural households: a case study of Nushki District, Balochistan
Keywords:Drought; coping; adaptation; Balochistan; Pakistan
Background: Drought affects every sector of life and repetitive droughts in
Balochistan have severally affected livelihoods of people particularly of rural
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to explore the perceptions of
drought and households’ coping strategies in rural areas Nushki District of
Methods: For this cross-sectional study, the primary data were collected through
a semi-structured questionnaire from 198 respondents at four union councils of
Nushki District. Respondents were selected through simple random sampling.
Descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data analysis, whereas for
analyzing qualitative data, content analysis technique was used.
Results: The findings of this study show that lack of rainfall and drying of karezes
and water sources were important perceptions of respondents for the incidence of
drought. No or less rainfall was perceived to be the arrival of drought in the study
area. Furthermore, selling of household assets, low food consumption, seeking
alternate sources of income, out migration from the drought prone area were the
prominent drought coping strategies of households at local level. Contrary to the
literature, diversification in cropping pattern and planting practices were not
adopted as coping strategies by rural households at Nushki District.
Conclusions: Nushki District is one of the most affected and drought prone area
where occurrence of drought is regular. Mismanagement of water, migration from
the rain-fed areas and lack of skills were serious issues. Therefore, government
organizations and NGOs should conduct skill development programs for the rural
households and farmers should be encouraged to grow drought resistant crops.