By Rafiullah Mandokhail
ZHOB: ‘Although unemployment is considered to be the most challenging social problem in poverty-hit Balochistan, but ‘Balochistan Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship Program’ financed by the World bank to promote enterprise development and livelihoods supports the local entrepreneurs and individuals to enhance profitability, job creation and income is a blessing for the province’, said the speakers at a seminar entitled ‘Citizen Engagement and Awareness Seminar’ held at the Cultural hall here. The seminar was attended by male and female community members, journalist Rafiullah Mandokhail and people from different walks of life.
District Coordinator BLEP Afzal Khan in his keynote speech said that organizing the seminar was aimed at creating awareness and providing information to the youth on employment opportunities through entrepreneurship.
‘In order to promote livelihoods through enterprise development and job creation, BLEP has been implemented in eight targeted districts in Balochistan including Zhob and neighboring Sherani districts. The project is financed by the World Bank and executed by the Planning and Development (P&D) department Balochistan,’ he said.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Director Mines and Minerals department Balochistan Abdul Razzaq Kakar and Director AWAR-Balochistan Muhammad Abid Sherani said that the five-year project has a significant role in poverty evaluation that aims at promoting agriculture and livestock sectors and equips the youth with vocational skills.
BLEP officials, forestry expert Haji Abdul Wahid, livestock expert Dr Iqbal, community development experts Kelamullah and Najibullah also spoke on the occasion and said that BLEF program works on different sectors including livestock, mining, tourism, small industries and forestry. Around 10,000 male and female unemployed youths have been imparted vocational training in electrical, plumbing, car-motorcycle repairing, carpentry, welding and IT sectors, along with the provision of tool kits. Moreover, tuck shops, Zaranj rickshaws and cattle have also been provided for the livelihood to thousands from the rural communities.
‘In order to promote agriculture and boost per-acre yield, tunnel farming has been introduced and grant applications are being received for setting up various fruit orchards including grapes, pistachio and almond and installation of drip irrigation in those areas suffering from water scarcity,’ they added.
Community’ s representative Abdul Qayum Sherani while speaking at the seminar appreciated the BLEP for creating employment opportunities for rural communities and achieving sustainability of enterprises.