Preparing For Rain

Amidst one of the hottest summers seen in Pakistan, the arrival of monsoon brings the sweet relief of lowered temperatures and cool winds, a break from one of the longest dry spells experienced in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s history with monsoons has been dark, and, for many residents, monsoon comes, not as a respite from the hot weather, but with the threat of floods, power outages, breakdown of infrastructure, and in some cases, the loss of lives.

The past few years have shown the consequences that the monsoon season can have when the government and city administration is unprepared. Karachi and parts of Sindh and Punjab have seen the worst of this—in August 2020, Karachi received the heaviest rain in a single day ever in its history when 231 mm of rain lashed out in just 12 hours, killing at least 41 people across the country.

Last year, several children and adults died or were injured as a result of the collapse of infrastructure after the rain. Rain may bring with it a respite from the heat but in Pakistan, that is often accompanied by terrible power outages, with the duration of load shedding in several parts of the country reaching up to 14 hours.

Considering temperatures this year have been exceptionally high much earlier, experts have predicted that flooding this year may be particularly turbulent. With the past years’ experience and the forecasts predicting troublesome floods, the federal government and respective provincial governments have no excuse for repeating the mistakes of the past. We can no longer blame unprecedented conditions every year for the destruction caused due to the climate; climate change is now our reality and cannot be stated as a force-majeure excuse for lack of performance and diligence; it is the government’s responsibility to be well-equipped to deal with what is now a yearly phenomenon.

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