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Climate Change, Poor Infrastructure, and Government Incompetency Lead to Worsening Flood in Pakistan
By: Abigail Weintraub
In Karachi, Pakistan, summer marks the start of monsoon season, which brings forth dire, neighborhood-wide floods that kill hundreds of residents and worsen each year. The deadly rapids surge into houses and wreck infrastructure such as bridges. Not only are Pakistani residents terrified, but they are also finding it much more difficult to cope as time goes on.
Over 282 people over the course of five weeks- many of them being women and children- were killed by the monsoon rains, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. Many drowned, but electrocution was also frequent, due to power lines coming into contact with water.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Pakistan is ranked high among the most climate-vulnerable countries across the globe. With global warming comes the rapid melting of glaciers, and many countries such as Pakistan should prepare for flooding to worsen. Just 2 years ago, the country experienced record-breaking rainfall. This month, rainfall and flood levels broke the record once more. Many people are worried about what may happen to the country if this trend continues.
On top of that, the city is in poor condition: the roads were crumbling and drains were clogged even before the rain hit. “The water waves gushed into the home whenever a vehicle passed by our house through the street,” said accountant Fazal Ali. He was forced to evacuate his home when it became submerged in flood water.
Pakistani residents are voicing their concerns about their government’s incompetency. “Every year, the government says there will be no flooding, but the problem is getting worse,” said Murtaza Hussain. Citizens are also complaining that the government isn’t using the money they receive from taxes to restore the city’s infrastructure. “The people of Karachi pay billions in taxes to the government but after every spell of rain, Karachi turns into a mess,” said Wasim Akhtar at a news conference.
Some analysts are blaming the government’s unpreparedness on the severity of the flooding, saying that the situation is becoming difficult to handle. “The provincial government managed the situation in the best way it could,” said chief minister Hakeem Shah. However, without a reliable government, the helpless residents of Pakistan are left to fend for themselves.