In case the state has failed to notice, monsoon rainfalls are seasonal. They come every year, and leave destruction in their wake, while provincial governments do nothing but announce compensation for the families of the victims. Last year, 178 people lost their lives as a result of flash floods around the country. The past three days have already brought the death toll up to 78 already. Waterlogged roads, collapsing houses and power lines lying open in pools of water have wreaked havoc on major cities such as Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sialkot, with smaller cities and villages facing even more troubles. Both Occupied and Azad Kashmir have the landslides to contend with as well. The army’s efforts to render aid wherever needed are proving to be less effective than usual, with a soldier drowning in Sialkot in the relief efforts. The spillways of Rawal Dam have been opened after the reservoir reached its limit on Friday, and the cascading water caused immense damage, with as many as ten houses completely destroyed.

And while some are displaying exemplary amounts of optimism by enjoying the brief respite from the heat because of the heavy rains, the lack of proper drainage systems around the country has revealed itself to be a gaping hole in the infrastructure of the country once more. Flood warnings have now been issued in areas surrounding the Chenab River. It has been raining for over thirty hours continuously, and 0.9 million cusecs of water have entered Pakistan since the storms began. The past few years and the increasing rainfall have not been kind to Pakistan. But the system must adapt, and only the state can take steps to ensure that losses are prevented as much as possible. For rivers, raising embankments and using sandbags in advance in the case of emergencies can greatly reduce the risk of flash floods. For settlements, whether rural or urban, spending some money on good drainage systems can go a long way in preventing damage to both life and property. In the case of the latter, the effect is on both public and private pockets, but the poorest always suffer the most, which means that the government has reasons to make these adjustments for both principle and practical reasons. The rest of the world has moved on from problems such as this. Many developed countries handle massive snowstorms without a significant death count. The situation while not ideal, is not impossible either. Floods are not something mythical or unheard of. So why are we suffering, still?