While growing up, I loved the monsoon season. I remember getting super excited when the clouds would let out a roar, indicating the forth-coming rain. The excitement used to take me on cloud 9.
But due to a series of unfortunate events I had to relocate to Karachi and that is when it turned my loving relationship with rain into a hateful one. Whenever it rained, the city turned into a personalized swimming pool and all my good times in the rain turned into a vague memory. For some reason, Sindh has been the province that always gets hit the hardest by the monsoon.
There were various reasons for Sindh to drown in water such as poor construction of roads or drainage. But unfortunately with time not only Sindh has been affected by the destructive monsoon, but over time I have witnessed other provinces such as Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and more suffer too. The history of floods in Pakistan is quite daunting as with the passing years, the floods have grown stronger and more critical. The present crisis in the country is not hidden from anyone. The flood of 2022 is proved to be the biggest monster flood that the country has witnessed to date.
Many wonder why floods occur in Pakistan, the truth is a bit vague, to be honest. As the country’s superiors believe it to be a case of drastic climate change due to global warming, although the country has the lowest carbon footprint in the world. Some also claim that the lack of dams in the country could also cause the disaster to occur. However, climate minister Sherry Rehman shared how the country has seen its 8th monsoon cycle this year, while previously it only used to experience 3 to 4 cycles! The dramatic change in the number of monsoon cycles is quite alarming and extremely concerning. This change also signifies how Global warming is playing its role in the dramatic change in the weather cycle.
After seeing the horrific outcome of the monstrous flood, the nation is forced to wonder if the flood is the result of guilt of sin or govt mismanagement and what should the government do, so that floods do not happen again the next time.
The Calamities of 2022 in Pakistan
Monsoon treated millions of citizens to the misery which left the government with no option but to call for a national emergency. While the government sat and pondered over the question of why floods occur in Pakistan, The National Disaster Management Facility shared that more than 900 people have been killed since the flood happened in June. Sukkur which is located on the southern side of Sindh Province is now a colony of numerous tent lines as the survivors try to find shelter. People are stranded with beds only as the rest of their belongings have been mercilessly destroyed by the devious downpour.
Streets are badly overflowed and plastic wastage is sprung out from the sewage pipes. Fear of waterborne diseases has spread among the citizens as it is likely to occur due to the situation in the country. Compared to all the provinces, Sindh has witnessed the worst hit in the history of floods in Pakistan. The southern province has recorded more than 300 people killed due to the calamity. The survivors are struggling to find a dry spot to plan their tents for shelter.
The Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, revealed that at least 33 million people are suffering from the side effects of the natural disaster. The country is left with no option but to ask for financial aid from other countries. He also added that the flood of 2022 is as worse as the one that occurred in 2010 and the situation might get more critical if the rainfall doesn’t cease as it has been raining cats & dogs in Sindh even now.
Since the summer kicked in, more than 400,000 homes have been destroyed across the country and 184,000 people are now residents of relief camps. Southern Pakistan, especially Sindh has received the highest recorded rainfall compared to last year’s August report. The brutal rain has erased the existence of roads, homes, and bridges. With all the crops gone or damaged, Pakistan is left with no choice but to import vegetables from India.
The areas that are badly damaged by the natural disaster are southern, southwestern, and northern Pakistan. Some victims were lucky enough to find a place to live provided by their relatives while others made state-run camps their temporary habitat. Although many are still stranded under the open sky as they try to find a roof over their heads. With such a drastic impact of the natural disaster on the people of Pakistan, one should question, if the flood is the result of Guilt of sin or govt mismanagement.
How Other Countries are trying to Help Pakistan
While Pakistan waits on approval for financial help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Chinese government has promised to provide a noble help of $300,000 in cash and 25,000 tents.
China has already delivered 4000 tents along with 50,000 blankets and 50,000 waterproof blankets. The President of China XI Jinping has expressed his condolences to Mr. Arif Alvi for the national mishap. The Canadian government has also pledged to send funding of $ 5 million to help Pakistan in its tough times.
How the flood can affect the Economy
As the flood has damaged cotton crops, rice fields, vegetables, and fruit crops. The previously weak economy is predicted to get more unstable as with 45% loss of cotton crops might cause a major loss in the number of exports. These losses can threaten the economy of Pakistan to be unstable as the country is already in hot waters for a devalued currency, high inflation, and current account deficit.
How to prevent flood and what Measures should be taken
After seeing such horrendous conditions in the country our next thought should be what should the government do so that floods do not happen again the next time. To my very shocking surprise, so far Pakistan didn’t have any effective flood risk management plan.
The National Engineering Services of Pakistan has finally developed the country’s national flood protection plan with the help of the Deltares institute from the Netherlands. Finally taking a face into a reality, the plan is sitting with the water and power ministry for superiors to make it an actuality. The National Strategy is focused on taking soft measures such as mapping, and restoring the watershed and forests upstream.
The proposed plan also foresees the construction of large tanks in areas such as Kalabagh, Munda, Chiniot, and Kurram Tangi dams which will upgrade the early warning systems. However, The former flood protection plans seemed to have an absence of a combined approach and incomplete knowledge.
Why are Dams important for Pakistan?
The answer is quite simple and most of us know about this. The dam and barrages are the answer to how to prevent floods in Pakistan. They stop rivers from overflowing and causing natural disasters. When a flood happens you need a place where you can store the water. Dams have a tank, which allows them to create a lake. Whereas Barrages turn the water towards the canal however they don’t have a reservoir.
In short, they don’t allow riverbeds to rise. The 2010 flood occurred through the Indus as the river bed rose above at least 6 to 7 feet, which is more than enough to cause an enormous flood. The question remains, what should the government do so that floods do not happen again the next time? They should focus on making more dams and protecting forests and natural resources to reduce the chances of such disasters striking again.
Reaching the main point
Floods can be disastrous and catastrophic for a nation. Many people lose their lives and beloved homes. Along with the loss of the habitats of various citizens, the country also faces major losses in agriculture which hurts its economy very badly.
Countries like Pakistan cannot bear this kind of disaster further. It’s high time that our government understands the grave danger and acts accordingly. Making plans is not enough as implementation is mandatory to make a change for the betterment of our country. Pakistan is not the only country that is facing severe damage due to climate change. Earlier this year Countries like South Korea also suffered from a catastrophic flood that was due to the heaviest rainfall recorded in the last 80 years. Both floods are said to be a result of severe climate change.