Nature’s Fury

The recent deluge of rain and snow in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Balochistan is a blatant re­minder of our lack of disaster preparedness and resilient in­frastructure. As we tally the rising death toll and witness the chaos unfolding, it is abundantly clear that we can no longer afford to re­main complacent in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath.

Major roads in KP and GB have been wrecked, indicating that our in­frastructure is as fragile as glass in a hailstorm. The Karakoram High­way and the Jaglot-Skardu road have become inaccessible, leading to a disruption of essential services. Thousands of people have been stranded due to the closure of roads. The National Highway Author­ity’s struggles to clear these blockades expose the inadequacy of our current setup. This demands immediate attention from the govern­ment to improve our transportation arteries against such calamities.

In KP, the death toll has risen to 35, with 43 injured and over 300 houses either completely or partially destroyed. The statis­tics paint a grim picture, one that is a wake-up call for the govern­ment to act vigilantly. Relief efforts are underway, but they are just a band-aid on a gaping wound. Comprehensive disaster manage­ment strategies are the need of the hour. These strategies must go beyond reactive responses, focusing on proactive measures to pro­tect lives and property.

The freezing temperature in Balochistan has paralysed daily life. The province has seen roofs collapse, claiming lives and causing extensive property damage. Over 900 people have been rescued, but this is not just a rescue mission. It is a testament to the lack of foresight in plan­ning for such contingencies. The provincial authorities must urgently formulate and implement a robust disaster response plan to ensure a more efficient and effective rescue and relief process. The climate cri­sis is knocking at our doorstep, and we must act now. Climate change exacerbates extreme weather patterns, making it necessary to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure, early warning systems, and com­munity-based disaster preparedness programs. We cannot control nature, but we can control how prepared we are to face its fury.

It is time for a paradigm shift in how we approach disaster man­agement and infrastructure development. The people of KP, GB, and Balochistan deserve more than temporary relief. They deserve a government that takes their safety seriously and is ready to facil­itate the people immediately.

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