Life & Death in Pakistan

Photo: Pakistani child drinking water from a hand-pump well (attribution, Vicki Francis/Department for International Development, UK)

Every week during the Season of Creation, we're bringing you stories of how climate change impacts vulnerable communities around the world. After each story we invite you to complete three activities: one to learn more, one to pray, and one to act.

This week we travel to Pakistan
Water is a life and death issue in the Thar Parkar desert of Pakistan. The Parkari Kohlis are a low caste Hindu tribal people whose homeland is in this desert, located in southeast Pakistan, just 3 miles from the border with India. Many Parkari Kohlis own their land but an insufficient water supply makes a viable living difficult. The desert region is dependent on rains during the monsoon season. If the rains do not come, life is even more precarious than usual. Rising temperatures due to climate change and an increasingly erratic rainy season mean rainwater storage is crucial. Columbans work with the Parkari Kohlis to construct large water tanks to store water and reduce water-borne illnesses. As Pakistan’s populations grows, however, access to water will grow ever more difficult.  

Fr. Tomas King and villagers welcome the completion of a vital new water storage tank

Read more about how “water is a life and death issue” in Pakistan.  

Whether it’s a Pakistani desert or our own backyard, “our friendship with God is always linked to particular places which take on an intensely personal meaning” (Laudato Si’, 84). Take some time this week to pray this imaginative exercise, which is designed to help you renew your friendship with creation.  

The impacts of human-caused climate change take many forms, like severe storms in Fiji or water scarcity in Pakistan. By reducing your contribution to climate change, you can help reduce its future impacts. 

Last week, you assessed your own carbon footprint. This week, develop a plan to reduce it. The Catholic Health Association of the United States has a handy “A-Z guide” to help you do this. Pick two ideas from the list to implement into your daily life this week. You can access the guide by clicking this link

This story, and others like it, is featured in the Columban Center's "A Journey Around the World," a resource for the Season of Creation. You can download the full resource for free by visiting this link.