Deadly Monsoon Season Wreaks Havoc in Pakistan
By: Stephanie Fu
Each year, the monsoon season batters Pakistan’s civilians for nearly 3 months from June to August. But this year, the season has brought forth heavy downpours and damaging floods that have already killed hundreds of people.
Pakistan is a long-standing victim of extreme weather and rainfall. But global warming and climate change have worsened the already drastic weather in the country. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, warned increasingly more damaging floods, calling it a “national disaster.”
After more than five weeks of deadly monsoon rain and flash floods, the death toll has reached an estimated 312, 114 of those including children. Pakistan’s highways, bridges, and houses were also ravaged by deluges and many were destroyed.
Countless civilians in Pakistan were forced to watch the destruction of their homes in flash floods. Murtaza Hussain, who works in a textile factory, told New York Times’s reporters Zia ur-Rehman, Christina Goldbaum, and Salman Masood, “It took us nearly two days to clean the water and get the house back to normal. There was no help from the government. Every year, the government says there will be no flooding, but the problem is getting worse.”
In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, the monsoon season only worsened the poor living conditions in which people resided. The city was filled with slums, and many people lived in poverty. In August, 2020, the city of Karachi experienced a devastating monsoon season that killed over forty people. The severe damage and protests made by people in Karachi forced the government to start repairing infrastructure and making moves to begin to clear the city’s drains of garbage. However, not much has changed in two years.
The damage and devastation caused by flooding led to an outcry from residents, blaming the government for lack of preparedness and inability to deal with flooding.
“The people of Karachi pay billions in taxes to the government but after every spell of rain, Karachi turns in a mess,” Wasim Akhtar, a former Karachi mayor, accused at a news conference. “Where is all the money that the provincial government gets from the federal government?”
Pakistan’s residents have been left to fend for themselves. With hundreds dead and even more left homeless, the deadly monsoon season affects millions.
Link to Article: Pakistan’s Deadly Flood Season Worsened by Climate Change and Bad Infrastructure - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Other Sources: Pakistan death toll from monsoon rains, flooding reaches 312 - ABC News