IT is shameful that Pakistan’s largest metropolis and financial powerhouse can not face up to rainfall. What begins as a time for rejoicing rapidly turns into despair for a lot of town, as Karachi’s inhabitants cope with flooded roads and homes, overflowing sewerage traces, prolonged energy failures, and visitors congestion. Nearly as if making up for the scant rainfall acquired final yr, on Monday and Tuesday town acquired 164mm of rain. Tragically, and virtually with out fail, demise inevitably follows the go to of the monsoons. In line with the sample of previous years, numerous deaths had been recorded from rain-related accidents after steady rainfall lashed Karachi and different components of Sindh. Most misplaced their lives from electrocution attributable to poorly maintained electrical energy poles and open wires, whereas in at the very least one occasion, a person died when the roof of his home collapsed on him. All these deaths and accidents may have been prevented had the provincial and native governing our bodies’ paid nearer consideration to the uncared for city infrastructure earlier than the rains arrived. It isn’t as if Karachi has not witnessed demise and destruction following even reasonable or low ranges of rainfall in its latest historical past. Simply earlier this yr, a number of folks died from electrocution following gentle rainfall within the winter. Then there may be the difficulty of city flooding that engulfs town intermittently, witnessed earlier than in 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017. In accordance with consultants, the causes of flooding stay poor city planning, with unchecked housing and encroachments being constructed on town’s pure waterways, along with the dumping of strong waste into its drainage community.
Roughly half of town’s inhabitants lives in densely packed slums which are constructed immediately on high of waterways and drains. In a merciless accident, the Worldwide Organisation for Migration has estimated that a big chunk of those slum inhabitants are themselves climate-change refugees, who moved to town after dealing with pure disasters similar to flooding and drought in different components. Moreover, with fast urbanisation and deforestation, Karachi’s rising concrete areas don’t permit water to be naturally absorbed into the soil. Local weather change will solely exacerbate these issues within the coming years, for which we’re not ready. True, we can not at all times predict the climate. However it’s a pity that we’ve got not outfitted ourselves adequately to cope with its challenges.
Printed in Daybreak, July 31st, 2019