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Climate change taking a toll on Pakistan with floods

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Pakistan is facing a climate disaster as the Swat River carries the largest volume of water in its history. The flood has destroyed houses, roads, leaving people homeless and covering a great part of the country under water, with the northern area of the country, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region having suffered especially badly.⁣

As a consequence of the flooding and a great number of people have been displaced, over 700 000 farm animals have been lost and 2 million acres of crops have been affected. According to the National Disaster Management Authority, as of 30th of August the death toll has risen to 1162, over 3500 people have been injured and even 33,4 mln Pakistanis in general have been affected by the flood.⁣

Due to the unbroken monsoon cycle the rain has been falling in Pakistan for the last 8 weeks. Although the research is still undergoing, it is fair to say that such heavy rainfalls in the area are caused by climate change. As the air gets warmer, the evaporation increases and so does the rain. The same situation has been the reason behind the previous “superflood '' 12 years ago.⁣

Moreover, climate change contributes to the melting of the glaciers in the Swat region, which fills the river with bigger volumes of water than previously. Apart from the regular floods the country also struggles with heatwaves, wildfires and drying up of the sources of drinking water in some of the regions. Pakistan produces less than 1% of the global carbon emissions but is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change disasters. Current dramatic flood is a clear image of global inequalities and a terrifying result of the lack of effective climate action by the world leaders.⁣

Photo © Getty Images

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