Photo Credit: Akhtar Soomro | Reuters
Due to widespread flooding in communities, many people in Pakistan have had to flee their homes in search of safety due to the effects of the climate crisis. According to Pakistan’s climate change minister, the devastating floods have killed thousands of people and impacted over 33 million others.
According to the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority, nine hundred thirty-seven people have died in Pakistan due to flooding and heavy rain since the middle of June. The current situation in Pakistan is the country’s worst humanitarian catastrophe in a decade, according to Sherry Rehman, the climate change minister. The minister continued by stating that the country was surprised by how frequently it rained.
“Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoon while normally the country has only three to four cycles of rain,” Rehman said. “The percentages of super flood torrents are shocking.”
The minister added that assistance is on the way to Pakistan’s south, where the rain’s effects are most acutely. Officers and employees from the Pakistani Army, the NDMA, and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority are all working together on the rescue and relief efforts. Rehman said that more assistance was still required despite the efforts because more people are seeking shelter from the rain.
One million tents are needed in Sindh, a southern Pakistani province, to house the millions of people who were hit hard by the flood. The inhabitants of the neighboring province of Balochistan, whose gas, electricity, and internet were damaged by the rains, require an additional 100,000 tents.
Due to this, Rehman is calling for help from the international community. “Pakistan’s priority, at the moment, is this climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions,” she said.
The climate change affecting Pakistan
According to the Pakistani Prime Minister, in the wake of recent events, the nation is concentrating on revamping itself so it can be climate change resilient. Pakistan’s Minister of Planning and Development said that the 30 million affected people make up 15% of the nation’s population.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the monsoons severely impact 3 million Pakistani citizens. Due to the water’s damage to their homes, more than 184,000 Pakistanis must relocate to relief camps.
Unfortunately, there are still requirements that must be met before the nation can receive the IMF bailout funds it requires for restoration.
The NDMA reported that in just 24 hours, 82,000 homes and 150 kilometers of the nation’s roads had suffered partial or complete damage. The monsoons have already impeded Pakistan’s 3,000 kilometers of roads, 130 bridges, and 495,000 homes since mid-June.
Downpour is ongoing
“Brother, the rain has not stopped for the past three months … We are living in a rickshaw with our children because the roof of our mud house is leaking,” said a woman from Sindh in an interview with reporters.
“Where can we go? The gutters are overflowing, and our courtyard is filled up with sewage. Our houses and alleys have turned into a floating garbage bin,” she added.
Expanded areas in Pakistan have already been warned by OCHA. Citizens, according to the agency, should be on the lookout for potential floods, river overflows, and landslides. Many people are concerned about the fact that most areas of Pakistan will continue to experience wet weather in the coming days.
The prediction for Sindh surpassed the yearly average. The average amount of rain in August alone was 784% higher than usual, a sevenfold increase. A weather emergency has been declared due to the excessive rain in 23 districts. Balochistan, which is just next to Sindh, was also severely impacted by the rains, experiencing 500% more precipitation in August.
Internet and phone services, as well as electricity and gas, have been shut off, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority. Search operations are made complicated for rescuers as a result.
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