THARPARKAR: As many as four more children lost their lives in the drought-hit Thar Desert today, raising the death toll to 172 in 49 days while more than 250 children have been admitted to several hospitals of the district for treatment.

Two children died at Civil Hospital Mithi, while two others lost lives in Nagarparkar and its adjoining area. The deceased included an eight-month-old Yaqoob, one-year-old Sunita and two infants.

On the other hand, two children have been shifted to Hyderabad in critical condition.

Meanwhile, malnourished families have started migrating to Badin and other areas as Tharparkar no longer has fodder for their cattle. The locals are migrating to Thar’s adjoining areas for fodder and due to Sindh government’s inadequate measures.

Famine-struck people have demanded the government to announce a package for their ease as poor arrangements in hospitals and lack of basic facilities are adding to the severity of the issue.

Tharparkar is a home to more than 60 lac cattle which provide source of income to residents. However, locals have started migrating to other areas as fodder for their cattle is all consumed before the expected time.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, if the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate among children and women is above 15 percent, it is to be considered an emergency situation.

During the National Nutrition Survey conducted in 2011, the GAM rate in the province of Sindh is 17.5 per cent and the Severely Acute Malnutrition (SAM) is 6.6 per cent.

In 2014, the Sindh government announced establishment of Thar Development Authority to address the problem, however, the draft is still pending for approval.