Floods & miseries of masses


Pakistan is facing the worst consequences of the climate crisis thanks in part to the actions of the developed world, as the country battles the worst floods in its history. However, it is good news that the water level at Guddu and Sukkur barrages is at normal level but there is still high flood at Kotri barrage that will continue till next 48 hours. The meteorology department has predicted a spell of rain in the next 3 to 4 days but its intensity will not be that high. The present government is making all out efforts to facilitate the flood affected people and is determined to ensure the provision of relief in affected areas. The Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal has also directed the authorities to accelerate the damage assessment surveys and repair the damaged infrastructure.
In Balochistan, thirty one of the thirty four districts have been affected by flood water. All provincial institutions are working together to provide relief to the flood hit people. A damage assessment survey has been started in order to provide people compensation of their losses. The road connectivity has been restored at many areas and work is underway on rest of the damaged infrastructure.
On the other hand, The World Health Organization (WHO) and Pakistani health officials have warned of significant health threats, including water-borne illnesses such as cholera and diarrhoea, which UNICEF said could lead to “many more child deaths”. Other risks include outbreaks of malaria, COVID-19, and dengue in crowded relief camps. The dangers are made worse by the fact that some 1,460 health facilities have been damaged in the floods, according to the WHO. Given the extent of the devastation, the death toll could have been far higher.
Pakistan is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. It faces a rate of warming considerably above global average, with a potential rise of 1.3-4.9 degrees Celsius by the 2090s. Earlier this summer, the extreme heat accelerated glacial melting; and weakened flows to the Indus River, resulting in a 38 percent water shortage in Punjab and Sindh – major crop-producing provinces. Pakistan is gripped by an economic crisis, with an inflation rate of 27 percent for August, according to official data. The Pakistani rupee has crashed, and net foreign reserves have fallen to just $8 billion. Meanwhile, continued political instability due to a showdown involving the government, the military, and ex-prime minister Imran Khan threatens to complicate the task of responding to the disaster and rebuilding.
Keeping in view the post flood situation across the country, there is dire need to work on a fast pace for relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims particularly to avoid another crises related to health issues in flood hit areas.
Moreover, post-flood disaster response cannot just end [with] providing relief and funds for rebuilding houses or buying livestock. The government needs to understand that a focus on risk reduction and resilient infrastructure development is crucial, since these disasters will get so repetitive that we won’t have the ability to respond as effectively.