As part of WACREP funded PWP intervention, a wide range of activities were carried out under Desert Development, targeting two major desert regions of Pakistan: the Greater and Lesser Cholistan Desert and the Tharparkar Desert from September 2014 to November 2015 (14 months). Both of these areas are geographically an extension of the Great Indian Thar Desert in Pakistan. Given the severity of the crisis, three priority sectors were identified by PWP/GWP-Pakistan for immediate and long-term improvements in the lives of Thari people, which are Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health and Hygiene and Nutrition.
The Desert Development approach consisted of a wide range of activities, carried out in 45 villages of the Tharparkar District housing more than 128,000 people. By improving access to potable water, distributing food and medicines for people and livestock, building capacity in traditional soap-making techniques, and the operation of bio sand filters, entire communities were benefited in various ways. Local village leaders were trained in soap-making and provided bio sand filters. Their increased capacity in these realms allowed them to educate the rest of the community members.
PWP demonstrated the use of BSFs in isolated areas of the Tharparkar district, covering 29 villages across the districts of Mithi, Chahro, and Diplo over 14 months. These target areas were chosen on the basis of advice provided by the local government; they highlighted the areas that were most affected by drought, suffered from the most notable water issues, and represented the most economically backward sections of Tharparkar.