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EditorialSave sinking south Punjab!

Save sinking south Punjab!

This monsoon season has been devastating for almost all provinces of Pakistan. Currently, Southern Punjab is suffering immensely due to floods. Heavy rains in the Koh-e-Sulaiman range resulted in flooding on either side of the provincial border. Landslides have also severed road contact between Punjab and Balochistan, which has resulted in standstill traffic over the past 72 hours. The Dera Ghazi Khan district has been heavily affected by the rains. Several people have drowned and a number of villages have completely been submerged in water. This has not only destroyed people’s houses, but also agricultural land and crops. The PDMA has issued a warning for more rain and flash flooding in the
area. According to Commissioner Muhammad Usman Anwar, 278 villages have been damaged by flooding in the irrigation system (Rod Kohi), causing damage to 572,000 acres of land and crops on198,000 acres. The Punjab government and the Military are working day and night to provide relief. Fifty-seven health teams and mobile hospitals are on the ground providing medical care to the casualties. In addition, 48 flood relief camps have been established, with over 14,300 ration packs and over 10,700 tents distributed to victims in the area’s communities.

This urban flooding has brought forward the level of development in these areas and how much Pakistan lacks in this area. Although monsoon is not a new phenomenon in the subcontinent region, still development has not been carried out in a way that can tackle heavy rainfall. It is true that with climate change the pattern and amount of rain have changed, but the change is also not new. For the last 10 years at least, the monsoon season has become synonymous with urban flooding. A number of areas of
many cities are completely submerged in rainwater every year during the monsoon season. At the time, the government sends in help for the affected people and the next year the country stands in the same place.

Pakistan needs to realize that climate change is here to stay. Every upcoming year will be worse than the previous one and if development is not done to improve infrastructure and take contingency measures then there is only doom in the future. Floods and other natural disasters have long-term devastating effects. Not only do floods and other natural disasters displace and kill people and destroy infrastructure, but they also lead to long-term economic problems. The cost of rehabilitating people only increases with each passing year. Most of the time, many people are not rehabilitated and this results in an increase in poverty in the country. Such people who lost everything, try to move towards urban
centers, which results in a burden on cities due to overpopulation. Since many of these people are illiterate, they are unable to find jobs so they either fall into crime or become beggars which is another huge problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance for the government to plan and develop areas while keeping in mind climate change. Moreover, in the long term, afforestation projects should be promoted so that flooding is reduced.

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