News

Pakistan’s Devastating Floods

By Sahar Ali

Volume 3 Issue 1

November 7, 2022

Pakistan’s Devastating Floods

Image provided by Al Jazeera

Pakistan. A country located in South Asia with India to the east, Afghanistan and Iran to the west, and China to the north. The Arabian Sea is to Pakistan’s south. In June of 2022, Pakistan’s monsoon season began; however, it caused unprecedented flooding. The country received 190% more rain this summer. The Pakistani government declared a national emergency after more than 33 million people were affected. At least 1.7 million homes were destroyed, and thousands of people were killed as an effect of the floods.  

Causes of the Floods 

Prolonged rainfall: This is where rainfall occurs for a long period of time, causing land around a river to become saturated. This type of rainfall hit Pakistan in a series of monsoonal depressions, which are storms with low pressure. During the summer of 2022, the country experienced 8 monsoonal depressions.  

Heatwaves: During March and April, Pakistan was hit with heat waves. Climate change made these heatwaves 30% more likely to occur. As an effect of the heatwaves, some of Pakistan’s 7,000 glaciers began to melt rapidly into the Indus River. 

La Niña: This is an event that causes warmer-than-average temperatures in the ocean. La Niña added more moisture and fueled the monsoon depressions. 

Dam issues: Pakistan needs to work on its engineering priorities. If the country does this, then irrigation and flood control would improve. Dam issues made the rainwater uncontrollable.  

Overall, the main cause of these floods is climate change. Pakistan is only responsible for 1% of the total amount of human-produced emissions; however, it is the 18th most vulnerable country to climate change impacts.  

 

Effects of the Floods 

Damages: Pakistan’s floods have caused more than $30 billion in damage. As a result of the floods, 1.7 million houses were destroyed as well as 18,000 schools. Furthermore, 1,460 health facilities were affected. The floods also caused the death of 800,000 livestock and damaged 2.0 million hectares of crops and orchards. The destruction of food crops resulted in $2.3 billion in damages. Many bridges and many kilometers of roads were also destroyed.  

Effects on Pakistanis: As the amount of rainfall slowly decreased, millions of people were left stranded in the water without food or shelter, making them susceptible to diseases. In the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, there have been outbreaks of cholera, malaria, and some skin infections. 6.4 million Pakistanis needed humanitarian aid by early September.  

 

What we can do to help Pakistan 

Due to the floods, people in Pakistan are in dire need of shelter, food, and clean drinking water. You can donate to Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan, which is a nonprofit organization that will provide the people of Pakistan with medical camps, tarpaulins, tents, and food. For overseas donations, you can donate to Aghosh USA and Aghosh UK which are partners of the Alkhidmat Foundation Pakistan.