ISLAMABAD - Director NDMA Brig Sajid Naeem has said that the government is working to improve climate change adaptation in the country to ensure that the risks faced by millions of poor and vulnerable communities across Pakistan are reduced, said press release issued here on Tuesday.
Addressing a seminar ‘Building Resilience in the Indus Basin’, organized by ‘Save the Children’ here, Brig Sajid said that Pakistan remains vulnerable to climate change and this vulnerability is likely to increase in the coming decades. We must all be prepared for a world that is changing.
Aqeel Nawaz, Director Programme Quality, Save the Children, said, “It is essential that the most vulnerable people in the most vulnerable districts of Pakistan are equipped with the resources and knowledge to help them cope with the effects of climate change’.
For poor and vulnerable communities living near the Indus River, their exposure to the impact of a changing climate pushes them further into poverty and hunger.
Although the Indus River System is a resource of great importance for the entire country and region, the changing environment has increased the risk of humanitarian disasters manifold for the people who rely on food and livelihoods from the mighty river.
Dr Chaudary Inayatullah, presented findings of a research study commissioned by Save the Children on climate change in Pakistan.
He said that temperatures were likely to increase by at least 0.5 degrees per decade with significant implications for agriculture, food insecurity and malnutrition rates that are already beyond emergency thresholds in many flood prone districts that make up the Indus Basin.
This type of hardship and poverty is difficult to explain. While the people of the Indus Civilization are some of the most resilient, in the world, even they struggle to cope with flood and malnutrition crises that have plagued them for several years now.
The 2010 floods in Pakistan are considered to be the worst disaster attributable to climate change thus far, globally. Over 18 million people were affected and one fifth of the country was under water. Monsoon floods affected over 5 million in both 2011 and 2012. In addition to floods and cyclones, experts warn that drought and possibly famine could occur if adaptive measures are not taken within the next five years.