The recent monsoon rainfall and torrential downpours have not only affected Karachi but various other parts of the country which have unfortunately received similar attention.
The Sindh government has declared 20 districts as calamity-hit and the ensuing floods have affected approximately 2.5 million people and destroyed nearly one million acres of agricultural land. It is a difficult time as many areas are still submerged in water and require immediate help. The mighty River Indus is surging with a high flood in Sukkur Barrage affecting adjoining areas.
A few years ago, it was predicted that Pakistan could face severe drought in the near future and the country will face absolute water scarcity by 2025. The alarm bells were raised and even the Supreme Court rallied to build major dams to conserve water. The crisis is caused by rapid population growth and urbanization and is being exacerbated by poor water management and climate change.
Although the rivers are flowing and water levels in dams and reservoirs are surging today, it is also a stark reminder that climate change is a reality and affects us all. Yet, there is still a lack of political will to tackle the challenges that affect our survival. This can be gauged from the handling of the ongoing flood situation in Sindh and even in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Relief efforts have ongoing but the floods in the rest of Sindh have not received the attention as Karachi. The federal government has not taken sufficient relief and rehabilitation measures. The farmers who have lost their entire crops need assistance and their agricultural loans should be waived. It is necessary that the prime minister should visit the areas and give them the attention they deserve.
A rift has ensured as the federal government has refused to release funds directly to the Sindh government for the victims of affected areas until the exact losses have not been estimated. This is affecting the flood victims and it is imperative that political differences are set aside for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
These recent rainfall and floods are not the only crises the nation has to deal with as it faces a myriad of challenges. However, it is necessary that the entire nation unites to deal with this disaster as it has done during times of adversity and provide relief to the people.