In recent months, the residents of Tharprakar, the rain-dependent arid zone in Sindh, had been living with one of their worst fears staring them in the face. August, which is when monsoon weather systems usually bring the most rain, had passed and rain spells had been few and insufficient.
The monsoon season was nearing its end and a severe drought seemed imminent.
But all of this changed when delayed but heavy to moderate downpours turned the desert region green in early September. The residents heaved a collective sigh of relief.
This year, like the previous two years, some areas of Tharparkar saw the start of monsoon rain by July's end and as August started, but the showers were scanty. August remained dry for the most part as Tharis battled gusty winds and fears of serious consequences for their crops.
In the face of unfavourable weather conditions, they had little hope of high crop yields. Feeding the cattle was another problem due to a shortage of fodder caused by the lack of rain.
By the start of September, only Diplo, Chhachhro and parts of Islamkot talukas had received a little over 100 millimetres of rain, according to data shared by Tharparkar Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Nawaz Soho.
But consecutive rain spells of moderate to heavy downpours were witnessed in almost all areas of Tharparkar after that, turning sandy dunes and arid pastures green and reviving withering crops.
The long-awaited showers also brought Tharis out of their homes as they visited different parts of the region to witness its beautiful landscapes and natural beauty.
According to the details of Tharparkar's talukas shared by the deputy commissioner, Islamkot has received 328mm of rain this year so far, Chhacchro 304mm, Diplo 297mm, Mithi 275mm, Nagarparkar 276 mm, Kaloi 148mm and Dalhi 183mm.
Header image: A view of Sindh's Tharparkar district after monsoon rains. — Photo by author