September, 2009-December, 2010
Distt. Swat, KP
In district Swat agriculture including livestock rearing is the primary source of employment, where 85% of the population is involved in agriculture. It can be safely said that the livelihood of around 1.5 million people of this conflict affected district (six in every 10 persons) is directly linked to agriculture. Self-employed individuals, largely comprising owner cultivators and shop owners/small traders, account for the largest share of employment. Self-employment accounts for almost 60 percent of employment in rural areas of affected areas, reflecting the importance of agriculture and livestock-rearing, while paid employment in private and public sector dominates employment in urban areas. Notably, manufacturing, utilities, mining and finance account for a very small proportion of employment in the affected districts. This would also imply that the brunt of the loss to livelihoods due to the disaster would be borne by the informal sector, comprising of small traders, businesses and households engaged in agriculture & livestock-rearing. Security situation in Swat was anomalous for the last two years, which worsened in January 2009 and culminated during the period May-July 2009, when military started massive operation in the area. More than two million people flee their abodes, which is the largest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) since the partition. People were allowed to return to their houses in August 2009 after successful army operation.
The largest source of livelihood loss in rural areas is disruptions in agricultural and livestock based activities, like milk production. The livestock both large and small died either because it was not possible to feed them or most of the IDPs while leaving their homes sold their livestock, being their only asset, receiving very little prices. Livestock losses, besides representing significant losses in terms of capital assets, have enormous impact on the incomes of households. In many rural households, livestock and poultry are a primary source of self-employment. In agriculture, loss in output and employment has occurred due to inability to harvest crops, loss of acreage for cultivation, and inability to prepare land for the next season. Farming families mainly rely on two crops a year. The timing of the military operation has unfortunately coincided with the advent of harvesting of Rabi crops that is followed by the sowing of Kharif ones. The fruits and vegetables got rotten during transportation to the markets due to road closures and curfew for days. The fruits and vegetables also overripe and spoiled in fields, as the farmers were unable to pick and transport on time due to long curfew durations. LASOONA – Society for Human and Natural Resource Development and Oxfam-GB, based on the assessments conducted under CERINA forum and direct interaction with affected people, started to respond to the worse livelihoods situation in early October, 2009. The response was mainly to provide livelihoods support, to the most vulnerable households affected during the conflict, in the form of providing temporary employment under Cash for Work (CFW), assets restoration through Cash Grant and distribution of agriculture inputs & agricultural tools.
- 3991 male and female were selected as cash for work beneficiaries in selected union councils.
- 05 Graveyard, 55 Water Channels were cleaned and 02 Garbage were removed.
- 10 Mosques were cleaned and repaired.
- 13 Waste management/collection points were constructed.
- 04 pavements were constructed and 04 communities wells were also dug.
- Female CFW beneficiaries produced 3071 products and further distributed among 1180 vulnerable families.
- Cash Grants of Rs. 20,000 to each household were distributed among 5495 vulnerable beneficiaries to rehabilitate their local livelihoods.
- Agricultural inputs supports were provided to 2805 affected farmers in selected union councils. (Detail of agriculture inputs per beneficiary are as under. Onion Tomato Seed DAP, Urea, SOP Wheat Seeds, Peas seeds, Agriculture Tools (2 hand hoe,1 sickle,1 small weeding and hoeing digger,1 land fork,1 spade and 1 matox).