Flash floods are back


Two years after Pakistan had vowed to not sit still and let a furious mother nature punish it for the crimes committed by the Global North, the disastrous flash floods are back and this time, Gwadar has been declared calamity-hit.
As heavy rains wreaked havoc on the coastal town, one can’t help but wonder about the precarious nature of the lifeline touted as a game-changer for the entire region once the much-talked-about CPEC operations kick off.
Entire neighbourhoods submerged, power transmission systems suspended and visuals of vehicles forced to navigate through a huge watery expanse: life appears to languish at a standstill. What’s more worrying is little to no change in the resilience of our infrastructure.
With more heavy downpours expected in the coming days and ground reports identifying pools of stagnant water, the authorities are bracing themselves for the spectre of calamity to loom large, punctuated by the onslaught of water-borne diseases. For now, the scale of the disaster seems to be overwhelming rescue efforts despite teams from every relevant institution – both civilian and military – utilising all available resources to drain out water and ensure relief for the affected. But it is high time the state realises the futility of reducing itself to a reactionary mode. Simply sending distress calls when natural disasters pound through the front door is not enough.
What Pakistan needs is a comprehensive, all-encompassing blueprint to reduce climate-induced damage to its infrastructure. Climate change is real and it is impacting all of us right where it hurts the most.
In a country perpetually battling dreaded default, how on God’s green earth would the provincial government find the finances to construct wiped-out roads from scratch, provide victims with the resources to start afresh or ensure that an even greater monstrosity does not dash towards them, come monsoon season?