Deadly Flood Season in Pakistan Leaves Cities in Shambles
By: Efran Zhao
Pakistan has had a long history of deadly natural disasters, and it has just encountered yet another one. Floods wreak havoc every year in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.
The monsoon rains broke records yet again, and streets and houses across the town have been flooded. These rains have already killed over 282 people over the past five weeks. Critical infrastructures have been damaged across the city, and it seems there is nothing the people can do about it.
Sure, global warming is a huge factor in the damage of these disasters, but many agree that the main factor is the incompetency of the government. Two years ago, the government announced a $14 million-dollar financial package for the repair of infrastructure issues, but nothing changed. It seems, “the government has learned no lessons from past disasters,” says Fazal Ali, an accountant.
“It took us nearly two days to clean the water and get the house back to normal. There was no help from the government,” said Mr. Hussain, 45, who works in a textile factory. “Every year, the government says there will be no flooding, but the problem is getting worse.”
People across the city are wondering about the future of it. “The people of Karachi pay billions in taxes to the government but after every spell of rain, Karachi turns into a mess,” Wasim Akhtar, a former Karachi mayor said at a news conference. “Where is all the money that the provincial government gets from the federal government?”
Another civilian, Danish, a carpenter, lost his wife and one of his children from drowning. He too, blamed the government. “It was not rain that killed my wife and child,” Danish said. “It was the government’s incompetence and people’s helplessness.”
Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Province’s chief minister, defended the government by blaming the disaster on the severity of the rain. “The provincial government managed the situation in the best way it could,” Mr. Shah said.