Rainfall Rampage

As each day passes, the effects of climate change are slowly starting to surface in our rural and urban areas. The weather conditions in the country are becoming increasingly unpredictable; more and more people are losing their lives, becoming victims of the long spells of rain and the resultant flooding.

Nearly 100 people have lost their lives in the north-western and south-western regions of Pakistan in the past week, making this current spell a national emergency that cannot be ignored. We are now witnessing the full-force impact of climate change, and the damage will only increase unless effective measures to mitigate the impact of rains are promptly taken.

Even though KP remains the province most affected by the heavy rain, there exists the looming fear of this situation turning into a national crisis if left unaddressed. Pakistanis are experiencing unusually heavy rainfall and cold weather in April, and this is mainly due to global warming having a visible effect. The death toll in KP alone has escalated to 59; landslides and flash floods have disrupted the flow of traffic, and day-to-day activities have been suspended in KP.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecasted more rain across the country towards the end of April due to a strong westerly wave. Keeping these predictions in mind, we need to work in tandem with the Ministry of Climate Change and the PDMA to ensure that relief measures are taken in this state of emergency. Emergency aid has been provided to the affected districts, but the state must take proactive measures to fix the issue at hand by implementing preventative measures in rural and urban areas.

It is unfortunate to see this natural calamity take place once again after the torrential rains caused flooding back in 2022, taking away 1700 lives. There is no doubt that Pakistan faces a disproportionate effect of global warming despite being a negligible emitter of greenhouse gases. As such, we should learn from the mistakes of our past and deal with this crisis proactively.

If left unaddressed, the environmental costs incurred would hurt the economy of the country even more than before, especially at a time when we are incessantly trying to improve the state of our economy. The state must seek international support and do everything in its power to reduce the damage that has been done, with providing relief to the affected families becoming the forefront of our priorities.

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