Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Pakistan Floods: “Demon Monsoon” turns the situation out of control, hope for help from the international community

Due to the change in the climate due to human-caused reasons, such a change in the weather was seen. This year’s heat broke the record of the last hundred years and southeast Sindh province received nine times the average rainfall.

Since mid-June, more than 1,300 people have died and more than 30 million people have been affected by the floods. In the year 2019, the rate of greenhouse gas emissions by Pakistan was 43.03 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, which was 0.9 percent of the global emissions.

Pakistan emits very little greenhouse gases globally, but it has been hit hardest by climate change. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the international community to rescue Pakistan from this disaster.

I have studied the economic effects of floods in North America and the history of water management in the Indus River Basin, so I can say that the $10 billion damage that is currently being reported is the damage caused by this catastrophe. Far away from reality.

Pakistan also had floods in 2010, due to which 1,985 people lost their lives and caused more than $10 billion in damage. These recurring incidents raise questions about the strategy being made to deal with future floods.

It is clear that the basic infrastructure of flood management is not adequate and timely response is not given by the government departments which further aggravates the problem.

In Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had issued an alert of heavy rain on 28 June, when its seriousness was not understood.

The NDMA reacted to these alerts in early August, but the assistance provided by the authority was for a few thousand people, while the number of people affected by the disaster was in the millions. After this the army had to be called for help. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an appeal in late August for US$160 million in aid. The Canadian federal government also released five million dollars for humanitarian aid.

This assistance was necessary for the time being, but it is very little in the face of the upcoming challenges of Pakistan. The kind of preparedness needed to recover from future disasters is not a matter of the various agencies of Pakistan.

There is a need to increase the capacity of Pakistan in a systematic manner to deal with the flood-related problems due to climate change. This assistance requires financial resources, technical support and human capacity development. The NDMA and the Pakistan Meteorological Department have been successful in developing an early warning system, but more work is needed at the community level.

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