Caught By The Climate.

Newspaper archives tell tales that no historian can narrate. Ironically, in this part of the world, these archives are not very different from the current news. Chronic problems continue to plague the lives of people. The misery is compounded over the years. Natural disasters are one of such conundrums which, over the years, have wreaked havoc across the country. Floods, forest fires, heat waves and droughts are a few to mention.

Unfortunately, as the frequency of these disasters increases, our response and preparedness adopted a regressive approach that resortes to semi-motivated warnings and lethargic responses to heatwaves and forest fires. Climate change is no longer an abstract doomsayer's warning. The Pakistan Meteorological Department has recorded as much as 385 percent higher rainfall in Sindh and 371 percent in Balochistan.

Being on the list of countries most affected by climate change and relying on aid for rehabilitation, a proactive approach is inevitable. Climate change is here and the longer we deny its existence, the worse it will be for us. Adhoc-based, election-centered policies are good enough to get votes but disasters can be undone only with actual work, on real grounds by competent people who can deliver as well.

In 2005, a large part of the northern and central part of the country was struck by an earthquake. Later in the day, the media revealed harrowing stories of loss of lives and property which could have been prevented if the house constructed in the hilly areas had followed engineering standards. Rehabilitation in those areas has not been wholly accomplished.

In 2010, Pakistan experienced one of the highest flood levels. They damaged almost 8,000 schools across the country, according to United Nations estimates. About 5,000 other schools had become shelters for the displaced; depriving children of education. The criminal negligence in delaying the construction of dams was largely stressed. Government officials were seen shaking hands with foreign dignitaries trying to generate momentum. However, nothing substantial happened.

Fast forward to the floods in 2022, they are wreaking havoc that was experienced by the masses a decade ago. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) stated more than 650 people have died across the country and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced with no respite from nature on the horizon. As...

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