Flooding in Karachi

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THE life of the people of Karachi has once again come to a standstill as the heavy monsoon downpours have submerged the metropolis.

Six people have also reportedly been killed in rain-related incidents whilst the damage caused to the properties and other infrastructure is still unknown.

Rains are no longer a blessing for the Karachiites as almost every year it brings more miseries and damage for them.

As for the latest rains, both the federal and provincial governments must rise to the occasion and take the requisite steps to shift the affected people to safer places, ensuring provision of ration to them.

The authorities concerned must stay alert for the rescue and protection of the people.

At the same time it is also for the people not to leave their homes unnecessarily and stay away from electricity poles and wires and also keep a distance from drains and manholes for their own safety.

Karachi is the economic hub of Pakistan and if its vulnerabilities were not addressed, they will severely impact people’s livelihoods and economic competitiveness of the city.

The way forward for the provincial government is to make climate resilience and disaster risk management central to its development by taking important steps in the right direction.

Undoubtedly, the city’s sewage network needs a complete overhaul and it should be done at the earliest.

The provincial capital can reap large benefits from the development of a comprehensive drainage and storm water master plan.

For its implementation, help can be sought from financial institutions such as the World Bank which has already helped large cities implement drainage solutions.

Given the large size of garbage generated on a daily basis, a permanent solution to the better management of waste is also the need of the hour.

Moving towards the sponge city concept to absorb rainwater, prioritizing green infrastructure and permeable surfaces will go a long way to counter floods and heat.

Instead of carrying the water away, these sponge cities treat it as a resource that is filtered by the soil and then stored.

This ensures the economic and sustainable use of the valuable natural resource that fresh water constitutes.

Both the federal and provincial governments should sit together to prepare short, medium and long term plans for the development of Karachi that builds its resilience against disasters be it floods or heat waves.

 

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