Pakistan: Floods & Climate Change

Pakistan: Floods & Climate Change – Explained

Pakistan is ranked 5th among the countries affected by extreme weather caused by climate change and is highly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change effects. The weather patterns are changing where we have long dry spells followed by intense rains causing floods. As per the news, the devastating floods during this 2022 monsoon have affected more than one-third of the country resulting in great loss of life, property and crops. These floods have washed away roads, bridges, homes and crops. More than thirty-three million people, which is every seventh person in the country have been affected by the floods. People were trapped in water and available resources especially helicopters were not enough to reach them. The worst hit areas include Swat valley, Balochistan, Southern Punjab and Sindh. Flash flood in the Swat River have swept away bridges and roads, cuttingoff the entire villages. People were told to evacuate but they got trapped as the infrastructure had been badly damaged and enough helicopters were not available to evacuate them. The losses are much more than the country can manage so Pakistan has asked for international help to cope with the disaster. Present estimates indicate loss of around 1400 lives, out of which around 500 are children. At the same time economic losses are somewhat around US$20 billion but these figures may cross US$30 billion or even US$40 billion. Rebuilding this infrastructure will take significant amount of time, efforts and finances. More than half of our cotton crop has been destroyed, a major cash crop that provides raw material to our cotton industry earning major portion of the foreign exchange. Fruit, vegetable, and rice crops have also been washed away which may cause food shortages leading to significant increase in price of food items.

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