Sustainability in action in Pakistan

QilaIskan Khan, a small village in Balochistan, Pakistan, has suffered from acute water shortages, particularly during the drought of 1996-2003.

Iskan Khan

Until recently the village relied on its Karez – a traditional underground water management system that was the only source of water for irrigation and human needs in this remote and arid mountainous region. But the Karez had collapsed due to clogging of the channels and lack of maintenance. Water and food shortages forced many villagers to migrate to other areas in search of livelihood.


Now IUCN has come came to the rescue through its project, Balochistan Partnerships for Sustainable Development (BPSD) and is restoring water to the village. Problems were resolved through an integrated approach that involved all water users and the underground water channels were cleaned and fixed with perforated UPVC pipes.

With renewed water supplies, the community has started coming back to restore their land and the project has seen immediate results. With an investment of 2.3 million rupees, the community has been able to earn 14.2 million rupees in a single year from an improved yield of eight crops. The area of irrigated land increased from 40 acres to 310 acres in 2011 and the villagers now enjoys greater food security and economic stability.

For more information contact:
Irfan Ali Bakhtiari, IUCN Pakistan,

Work area: 
Rio + 20
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