Climate Change- the term is still vague for millions across the globe but since June 2022 the phenomenon has hit Pakistan the hardest!
Pakistan is paying the price for the world’s greed.
The country contributes less than 1% of greenhouse global emissions but is among the top 10 countries affected by climate change.
Pakistan is home to the largest number of glaciers, 7253, the most outside of the arctic polar region, which are all reportedly melting fast.
Quite apart from super-monsoons, Pakistan this year saw three times as many glacial lake outburst floods as normal.
As reported, the Glacial melt from the Himalayas supercharged reservoirs in May.
Though being a negligible carbon emitter, Pastan is facing the brunt of richer countries’ GHG emissions.
According to the statistics, since 1959, Pakistan is responsible for only 0.4% of the world’s historic CO2 emissions. While the U.S. is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5%, and the EU for 15%.
One-third of Pakistan is currently underwater. The crops and agricultural land are all gone, millions of lives ruined, livelihoods wiped out, roads swept away, houses destroyed or barely standing.
Pakistan faces concurrent exposure to other forms of distress, monsoon rains have added more to the misery caused by glacial lake outburst floods.
While droughts plague other parts of the world, swathes of South Asia are submerged in floodwaters, and Pakistan faces the worst floods in the country’s history.
An emergency amid flood has been declared in Pakistan, which has inflicted $10bn in losses.
The province of Sindh, in particular, suffered damages of over $1.6bn (Rs355bn) as all major crops have been destroyed.
According to the official figures issued by the National Disaster Management Authority, NDMA, (SIT-REP No.076) the massive floods have so far claimed 1,061 lives and injured 1,575 people.
While the estimated number of affected people is around 30 million, and around 1 million houses are totally or partially damaged leaving behind millions in need of urgent shelter.
Additionally, over 3,451 kilometers of roads, 149 bridges, 170 shops, and 949,858 houses were damaged and over 735,375 livestock animals were lost across the country.
Pakistan this year saw a monsoon pattern totally different from any average.
In 2022, the country has received the highest rainfall in at least three decades.
A small town in Sindh, Padidan near Naushero Feroze, has received over 1700 MM of rain in one day.
1 millimeter of rain is not counted generally by the public. In fact, it is equivalent to 1 liter of water on a 1 square meter area. Here 1700 millimeters mean 1.7 meters high water level per square meter of flat land. A fully grown-up man will completely drown if the water is not moving out.
As the extreme weather patterns are turning more frequent in the region, a climate dystopia has arrived at our doorstep.
And much worse is yet to come!
The cash-strapped country can not alone face and plan for the calamity, contribution from the international community is a must.
Pakistan’s economy is already on the ropes amid commodity prices and inflationary pressures, even before the clouds burst.