The threat is growing rapidly
Temperatures in Pakistan during March and April this year broke all records, especially this year March has been the hottest month since 1961 and the coastal city of Karachi in Pakistan has a temperature of 41. Degrees Celsius – Similarly, in the month of April, Karachi also broke the April minimum temperature (previously 28 degrees Celsius) and the minimum temperature on the night of April 30. Reached 29.4 degrees Celsius. Then in the month of May another severe heat wave resulted in high mercury in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan and 50 degree Celsius in Sibi and Jacobabad and 48 degree Celsius in Multan, 46 degree Celsius in Lahore and 42 degree Celsius in Karachi. The temperature was recorded in Karachi while the temperature in Karachi was as high as 50 degrees Celsius due to the humidity in the air. In the current situation, after Jacobabad, Karachi can be declared an uninhabitable city – because with the intense heat wave, the supply of water and electricity seems to be disrupted, which is further complicating the situation.
The heat is also felt in other cities of Pakistan but Karachi is especially at risk due to its densely populated coastal city. That is why the city of Karachi seems to be experiencing a gradual increase in the intensity of heat. The fact is that the duration of heat in Karachi is increasing. The month is scorching hot, while three months can be considered mild and relatively cold.
The climate of a region, country or region consists of the ‘average’ of its seasons for many years and the change in that ‘average’ is called climate change. Climate change is now being recognized as a reality and is being given importance all over the world, thanks to various factors and phenomena, most of which people are now realizing that The continent’s centuries-old ecosystem is changing, with significant effects on different regions and regions. Climate change is causing global temperatures to rise gradually. Extreme heat waves, floods, tidal disturbances, water scarcity, declining agriculture, severe famines, rising sea levels, and hurricanes are major threats to climate change, most of which we face. Climate change could displace millions of people worldwide as we push the planet toward environmental catastrophe. The risk of climate change is increasing with the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Although Pakistan is the eighth country most affected by climate change according to the Climate Change List 2021, the ground realities show that Pakistan is the most and permanently affected by natural disasters due to climatic conditions in the world. In the affected countries, it is second class if not first class. Due to climate change, there is a clear change in the pattern of rainfall in Pakistan and the quantity has increased ie heavy and heavy rains in a short period of time. Similarly, the winter has shrunk to just three to four months, while the summer is getting longer and more intense. Urban areas are facing heat waves due to deforestation and overcrowding. In addition, maritime interference in the coastal areas of the Indus Delta destroyed millions of acres of agricultural land, severely affecting the lives and livelihoods of the local people and forcing millions to migrate to the cities.
Similarly, the massive river floods in 2010 displaced large numbers of people and lost their jobs, forcing these families to relocate to cities, and these people settled in cities as environmental refugees. After arriving in the cities, these migrants faced discrimination and the struggle for housing and employment left them in a precarious life. A great example of this is the more than 6000 meteorological refugees who are living in slums along the superhighway in Karachi. These are the same families who migrated to Karachi from different rural areas of Sindh after the 2010 floods. They are deprived of basic amenities like life. They have no water, no electricity and no gas supply. The incidence of drought and tidal disturbances is on the rise and it is feared that millions more families could be affected by these factors. And thousands of families have been displaced in the name of restoring the width of the Gujar Nala and yet more families and people will face poverty or homelessness.
Environmentalists agree that climate change and extreme weather events such as heat waves, rains, floods and storms will recur and increase in intensity and will affect people’s lives and It will pose a serious threat to livelihood as all these issues are linked to shortage of drinking water and food
Now the important question is which class is most affected by these climate changes? They are the poorest segment of the low-income population living in slums and slums, as the residents of these backward and poor communities are less likely to adapt to the conditions and therefore suffer the most. Sixty-two percent of Karachi’s population is forced to live in informal settlements, with about fifty percent more vulnerable and at risk – a category that is considered illegal by policy makers and bureaucrats and is being exploited by development schemes and Do not include in the plans, thus the people living in these settlements face more difficulties because they are not heard at any level.
When urban flooding in Karachi emerged in 2020 as a problem that almost submerged the city, the federal government commissioned the National Disaster Management Authority and Frontier Works Organization to improve the cleaning and widening of stormwater and sewerage drains. Assigned the responsibility of giving. But state agencies also began building 30-foot roads on both sides of the canals, displacing a large number of residents, and intervening in these federal agencies created problems for the community. Thousands of people were displaced because their homes were demolished.
Similarly, coastal communities, especially the fishing community, have been severely affected by climate change. ۔ In Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, everything from sewage to industrial waste is being dumped directly into the sea, and its volume is increasing over time. This poses a serious threat to marine life, mangroves and fishing communities.
The federal and provincial governments, including institutions, have no idea how much climate change is affecting the livelihoods and livelihoods of local people. Overcrowding is on the rise in cities, while heat waves due to water and electricity shortages are also causing massive damage, as happened in Karachi in 2015. Similarly, due to the large area and lack of population in remote areas in rural areas, even small risks turn into disasters. The overall situation is that there is a severe shortage of disaster management in the whole country.
That is why, among other measures, a complete system is needed to deal with disasters with modern technology, including daily measurement of temperature, rainfall, drought, food production and falling water levels on a daily basis. A complete strategy should be formulated by recording on so that better solutions can be found to all the problems related to climate change.
In Karachi, locals and organizations are running self-help tree planting campaigns, but the situation calls for more action. We need to educate our young generation about climate change, what is happening on the ground and how to address the issues of local climate change. It is important for young people to be aware that climate change is indeed a major threat and that as climate change shows, we will face more threats in the future.
Concrete steps need to be taken to mitigate the negative effects of climate change in Pakistan. Because it threatens human, animal and marine life as well as the overall environment of the country. Pakistan is one of the countries that has signed many international agreements on climate change but they are not being implemented. Pakistan also signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. Significant action is needed to limit the severity of climate change in both the developed and the less developed parts of the world.
Weak communities and classes need to be included in policy making and development plans. We need to focus on projects that are related to environmental protection and mitigating the effects of climate change as they affect most people. At the same time, it is important to ensure that climate change involves experts as well as people from various walks of life, especially the vulnerable and vulnerable.