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Pakistan Floods: A Global Concern

By Ashar Ali Khan

October 9, 2022

UPDATED 12:00 PM EST







[ndtv.com]


Pakistan, a South Asian country of around 220 million people, is going through one of its worst natural disasters right now. The ongoing flood has wiped out hundreds of villages displacing 32 million people in the process. One-Third of the country is still under water and at least 1500 deaths have been linked to the disastrous calamity and 170,000 houses have been destroyed. All of this has put extreme strains on the country’s treasury and has added to the financial woes of the 3rd World Country.


Now the question shouldn’t be what has happened, it should rather be ‘Why has this happened?’. On the surface, it shouldn’t be difficult to get a good grip on the plot. The country experiences yearly monsoon rainfalls and has a total of five gigantic rivers cutting through it. The high population density near the same rivers adds to the misery. This is not the first time Pakistan has experienced a flood, either. So is this just a classic case of a 3rd World Country with a corrupt government not learning from its mistakes? This is where it becomes more complicated.


This part of land, today known as Pakistan, has experienced monsoon rainfall originating from the Bay of Bengal for the last 8 million years. This time, however, it wasn’t just monsoon. It was “A Monsoon On Steroids” - as the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres put it down. This record rainfall was succeeding one of the worst heat waves the country has ever experienced. On days, it was the hottest place to be on the entire planet. This resulted in the rapid melting of glaciers up in the country’s north which naturally added insult to the injury. This is where the dots connect: Climate Change.


Greenhouse Gases like Carbon Dioxide and Methane have long been known to cause an increase in Earth's surface temperature. We are signing up for bearing the consequences of climate change when we choose to use non-reusable plastic or renewable fuels, but what remains equally ignored is the fact that not everyone is affected equally by it. G20 countries produce 80 percent of the total world carbon emissions while Pakistan produces less than 1%. However, Pakistanis are among the first in the line to pay the costs.


Pakistan Floods is not an isolated incident. Australian Bushfires of 2021, Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef, and Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Southern Africa, all say “warning” in big red block letters. We collectively need to sort our ways before it’s too late or otherwise be ready for what’s coming just as Antonio Guterres said, “ Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.”



References


  • Smriti Mallapaty “Why are Pakistan’s floods so extreme this year?” nature.com - Nature, News, Article, 02 September 2022,

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02813-6


  • Simon Fraser “Pakistan floods are a ‘monsoon on steroids’, warns UN Chief” bbc.com - News, World, Asia, 30 August 2022,

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62722117


  • Sahar Khan, Jumaina Siddiqui “ Why Pakistan is drowning” usip.org - Home, Publications, 08 September 2022,

https://www.usip.org/publications/2022/09/why-pakistan-drowning






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