Heat Waves, Water Crises, & Drought, What’s Next?

A Little Overview

For weeks Pakistan has been facing a scorching heatwave, that has left its people in great suffering. But who is to blame for this? Is this heat wave not a result of climate change that is further worsened because of our actions and lifestyles? The increase in the production of carbon dioxide due to several factors has led to our climate change for the worse.

Whether the carbon dioxide is a result of increased traffic in Pakistan all over or the continued deforestation that takes place despite the worsening climate. Pakistan remains one of the top countries that continues to be severely affected by climate change. Effects of this can be seen and felt all over the country but in areas like Sindh and Balochistan it’s even worse and the temperature continues to increase year by year.

High temperatures are bound to have a significant impact on our country, and like the people of Pakistan have started to notice, heatwaves are becoming frequent and for long durations, the glaciers are starting to melt, and the pattern of rainfall has also changed. All in all, when the climate starts to change, it affects the food that we rely upon. For instance, the availability of food lessens, the quality of food also gets affected, and most importantly it’s affecting Pakistan’s agriculture. So much so that our rate of agricultural productivity has dramatically decreased.

This is repeatedly causing Pakistan to suffer economically as well since many reports show that the country has experienced over 150 freak accidents due to the weather. Smog, floods, forest fires, and landslides are just some examples of freak accidents that the country has to endure. 2010 is just one example of how severe impacts of climate change can be, the floods that started in 2010 and went on till 2011 displaced around 10% of Pakistan’s Population.


What Are We Dealing With Currently?

Experts have predicted that in the upcoming days the temperature can go up to 50 degrees, and as of right now many cities have reported 48 degrees already. Authorities have advised people to try and remain indoors as much as possible, they have also asked hospitals to be prepared to treat patients with heatstroke.

The Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, who is the focal person in Pakistan stated that Pakistan is facing a major threat due to global warming. Some scientists claim that this is because Pakistan is located between China and India as both are industrialized countries. However, the state’s focus needs to be diverted towards areas that are increasingly suffering due to cliamte change.

Let’s talk about Cholistan, a desert area that also borders with Thar, and it is connected to both Sindh and India. Cholistan is also around 30 kilometres away from Bhawalpur but the entire area has been severely affected by the climate change. So far 150 animals have been reported dead due to extreme heat and lack of water. These animals ranged from sheep, cattles and goats. Children are also suffering in the extreme heat as there is scarcity of water and no help for miles.


What Measures Can We Take?

The first thing to realize is that Pakistan is an agrarian country, and it is still not fully industrialized due to which around 40% percent of the population still remains dependent upon agriculture to make a living. But due to the rapidly changing climate the agriculture sector remains affected, and people’s livelihood is also taking a turn for the worse.

The country needs to begin by raising awareness so that people all over Pakistan can start by realizing that we need to start moving towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The public needs to cut back on plastic products and introduce improved and efficient recycling methods. We also have to stop cutting down more tress. Instead, the state needs to encourage plantation across the country, if every person starts to plant at least one tree that will also help to go a long way.

The youth needs to be involved too for a better and healthier future and for that we all need to unite and deal with this crises.

Published in Global Affairs June 2022 Edition

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Rameen Saber

Written by Rameen Saber

Rameen Saber is an intern at Global Affairs. She is pursuing her Bachelors in Peace & Conflict Studies from National Defence university Islamabad.

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