Islamabad - Federal Minister for Climate Change Mushahid Ullah Khan said on Wednesday that urban flooding phenomenon is becoming common in Pakistan because of erratic weather patterns caused due to global warming, which has been leading to significant impacts on socio-economic lives.

However, these negative impacts of the flooding can be mitigated and the urban centres of the countries can be made flood-resilient through sustainable and environmental-friendly urban planning, he suggested. He expressed these views here at his office during a meeting with climate change and urban flooding experts.

“In Pakistan, increasing population in urban centres has led to population concentration, which has escalated pressure on ailing urban infrastructures. This has made the cities vulnerable to climate change impacts in shape of urban flooding, heavy rains,” he highlighted. Mushahid Ullah said that sustainable and environmental-friendly urban planning with major focus on water and sanitation infrastructure, housing sector, economic centres can help mitigate impacts of heavy rains, floods on these fundamental urban infrastructures. Because this is critical for making the socio-economic lives in the urban areas unaffected. Expanding urban centres have led to unprecedented rise in indoor and outdoor pollution and environmental degradation of natural resources. As a result, overall quality of lives of the city dwellers has been getting affected negatively, which leads to an array of health problems, the minister observed.

Besides, he warned that the frequency of urban flood because of heavy rains is most likely to increase in the country because of rapidly changing climatic conditions.

“This underlines need for initiatives that can make our urban centers economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and liveable,” Mushahid Ullah stressed.

Referring to the current weird kind of rains in the country, particularly in northern parts, the minister said that such odd rains have not been witnessed in the country over last several years and this indicates that how weather has become erratic and unpredictable, which led to flooding, particularly in urban areas.