Why is Pakistan flooding?
What is happening in Pakistan?
Pakistan is currently suffering severe flooding as an impact of climate change. It is thought that by the end of the monsoon season, 1/3 of Pakistan may be under water. The severe flooding happening right now is affecting huge areas of crops and livestock being destroyed. Crops such as cotton, rice, banana and onion are flooded having a disastrous financial impact on top of the terrible loss of life.
Over 1100 people have died so far. With millions of people displaced, the death toll is likely to keep rising. At least 700,000 homes have been destroyed and the unfair truth is that although Pakistan is a country that is incredibly vulnerable to climate related disasters, it contributes to less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. The severe weather and environmental disasters they are experiencing are a result of the richest countries greenhouse gas emissions.
How do the floods start?
Glaciers are large and very thick masses of ice that form on land when fallen snow gets compressed into ice over many centuries. In Pakistan there are a lot of glaciers located high up in the mountains. Due to rising temperatures, these are melting which is having knock on affects as they melt and the water moves down.
What can we do?
You are already helping by being here right now and educating yourself. If we can all become more conscious of the affects of climate change, we'll naturally start making better choices in the way we live. Realising people are living the consequences of the climate crisis as we speak, and spreading awareness of what’s happening is a great way that we can make our own differences. Making our own changes where we can towards living more sustainably is making more of a difference than we may think. If we all become more conscious as a society, one person at a time, one small change at a time, we will see a bigger impact. Another way you can help as with any disaster like this is to make a financial donation if you can.
What’s being done to help?
The government estimates the disaster may cost over $10 billion. A major appeal has been raised by the UN in the aim to raise $160 million in emergency aid. Turkey, China, Canada and Qatar are the first to be offering support. As this is a man-made disaster, Pakistan’s planning minister says the world has an obligation to help. Pakistan will be faced with acute food shortages from the floods, and it will take years to rebuild.
“Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country.” António Guterres, the UN’s secretary general is urging everyone to wake up to what is going on. The UN appeal is aimed to provide 5.2 million people with food, health support, water, sanitation, and emergency education. The BBC reported that it is estimated one in seven people in the country have been affected by the flooding, more than 33 million Pakistanis.