The monsoon rainfall continues to affect most of the country causing floods, flash floods, and landslides that resulted in an increasing number of casualties and damage. Millions of Pakistanis are currently facing the climate reality. 1/3 of Pakistan is completely underwater. People are in such miserable conditions. Words alone cannot adequately express their grief and suffering.
This disaster started in mid-June and has affected at least 4.5 million people, which is now being termed the worst disaster in the last decade. More than 1200 people are believed to have died, while thousands are injured from severe rain and flooding across the country. At least 116 districts have been affected by flooding, out of which 66 are declared as “calamity hit”. The country was hit by five times more rainfall than the usual average in the past three decades.
Read more: Lessons from 2022 floods in Pakistan
9 districts of KP, 3 districts in Punjab, and 31 in Balochistan, and 23 have been severely affected by floods. In these areas, extensive damage to a critical network can be seen; houses have been destroyed, crops have been destroyed, and electricity, water, internet, and gas connections have become foreign concepts to these people. Millions of people no longer have access to basic necessities.
The government of Pakistan declared National Emergency
The government of Pakistan is working to mobilize the resources to extend relief to the affected people all across the country. PM Shehbaz Sharif discussed the national emergency situation with COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa and NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced the donation of one-day salary of employees from grades 7-16 for rescue and relief operations in flood-affected areas. The government’s current priority is this climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions.
Commendable efforts for flood relief
The list of needs in the flood-affected areas includes items related to shelter, hygiene and health, food and veterinary medicines, as well as heavy machinery. National authorities and humanitarian partners are providing help across the most affected areas. Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) released PKR 250m for Flood Emergency Response. The EU is providing EUR 2.15 million in humanitarian aid to families affected by flash floods across the hardest-hit districts of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and KP.
To help flood victims of Pakistan, friendly countries have pledged support to Pakistan’s Relief and Rehabilitation efforts. Military aircraft from Turkey arrived at Karachi carrying relief goods, military aircraft from UAE arrived at Noor khan Air Base Rawalpindi, military aircraft from UAE will arrive at Noor khan this evening and aircraft from China will reach Pakistan in the next 48 hours. Bahrain has pledged 1 aircraft to help assist flood victims. The relief goods being brought through these aircraft include tentage, medicine and food items.
Everyone from the government to the volunteers is engaged in flood relief efforts and they are our heroes. The whole Government Machinery is behind these mitigation and disaster risk reduction measures. Decisions are being made right from the top. From PM, CMs, Chairman WAPDA, COAS, Corp Commander, and Chief Secretary level to the level of DC. There is a whole army of Government officials, Armed forces, district administration, Irrigation dept, Police officers, and Rescue 1122 deployed in the evacuation of people to safer places.
The story of Pakistan’s iron lady
Nowshera remained safe during the flood and casualties were avoided. This is an appreciation post for ADC Nowshera, Miss Qurat Al-Ain Wazir, and her team. Her proactiveness avoided a massive loss. She did whatever was possible in her power to evacuate the residents of nearby communities of Kabul River. She went door to door with Law enforcement officials, and also went to many mosques for public announcements. Her extraordinary commitment to her duty saved many lives.
Being able to ignore the climate crisis is a massive privilege. Just because it’s not greatly affecting an area near you, does not mean it’s not affecting millions of other people on the planet. Climate change shouldn’t only be taken seriously once it starts affecting white, affluent countries. Climate crises have been affecting Pakistan for many years with little to no media coverage. The western world has been conveniently neglecting the issues that do not affect them directly. While the vulnerable populations have felt the impacts of climate change for years.
Civil infrastructure and communities have not been able to cope with the ongoing heavy rainfall in Pakistan. As a result, the humanitarian situation is further expected to worsen. Dozens of towns have been cut off from the rest of the world. In these testing times, people need to come forward and help as much as they can.
The writer has worked for I-SAPS, CRCP, ISSRA and ISPR. My major areas of interest include Human Rights, International Law and CVE. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.