The government of Pakistan has declared a national emergency after nearly 1000 people have died and more than 30 million people have lost their homes due to torrential rains. This is not the first time Pakistan has faced a climate catastrophe, it has been a victim of natural disasters for the past 75 years as it has the most vulnerable geo-strategic location in the region.
A realization is needed that climate change is a serious concern, and Pakistan has done a bare minimum to mainstream the climate change narrative as the economic and political instability mainly hogs the spotlight in the country.
Amidst this climate catastrophe a US-based Kashmiri architect designer, Tony Ashai has expressed his views on his social media account.
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He urged the authorities to formulate rules and regulations for construction in the flood-prone areas of Pakistan. Moreover, he also insisted to investigate the construction of multi-story buildings in a floodplain area without any strong foundations.
“The place that we know it’s gonna get flooded or water is gonna come gushing down and wipe out this building. Why do we allow it?”
The architect further stressed that Pakistan has always been vulnerable to natural disasters and the authorities need to consider that this is not the last time floods are coming. The situation requires united efforts to effectively manage and cope with the changing climate conditions. Tony Ashai also spoke about taking precautionary measures to further reduce the chances of damage and destruction caused by natural disasters.
This is a good time to talk about how to prepare for the next #Floods or #Earthquakes that will happen in #Pakistan and kill many more Pakistanis. Here is my take on it. #PakistanFloods pic.twitter.com/SoBZ59iYPv
— Tony Ashai Design (@tonyashai) August 26, 2022
While expressing himself he questioned the authorizes that;
“Are we preparing? For for the next disaster.”
Additionally, Tony Ashai also mentions that learning from past mistakes is essential to cope with natural disasters. However, the authorities never learned from the 2010 floods which washed away many buildings and took thousands of lives, and buildings that were rebuilt with the same weak foundations once again collapsed in 2022.
Moving on, the architect further analyzed the 2005 earthquake where single-story buildings also collapsed due to unreinforced masonry work, and now it has been almost 17 years the authorities have no checks and balance on construction companies for their low-quality infrastructure.
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Conclusively, this is the time to act and be the agents for change as our country cannot afford to lose another 1000 people or be in the same climate catastrophe in the future.