Pakistan becomes ground zero for climate change calamities | By Amb Jemal Beker Abdula


Pakistan becomes ground zero for climate change calamities

RECENTLY, I visited flood-affected areas of Sindh and met the displaced families in the Tent City where I chanced to talk to the families, elderly people, women and children.

On behalf of the government of Ethiopia, I distributed food items, medicines and non-food items to more than 8,000 affectees in the vicinity.

Tent City is a two-hour drive from Karachi and on my way I was just thinking about what kind of life, pain and agony these people are undergoing.

It is very sad and painful to comprehend where one-third of the country was inundated with water, more than 1600 precious lives lost, 1.7 million houses destroyed, women give birth in the tent, 800 thousand livestock, majority of crops were devastated, schools, health facilities and infrastructures destroyed that heavily affected the livelihood of people beyond imagination.

Upon my arrival at the Tent City, I was received by a large number of people of all age groups, gender, and looking into their faces and eyes, I could comprehend the agony and suffering they are undergoing for the causes they are not part of.

Coming out of my car, I extended my hand and gave strong hugs to the children around me just to express my empathy and sympathy with them while scanning the camps and visualizing the magnitude of the suffering.

Related to this, I have noticed one thing: the Pakistani people have strong and solid hearts and growing hope to survive, revive and recover and eagerly wait for their return to their place.

But I have just asked myself one question, what would be left over in their locality upon their return, nothing but debris and beginning life from zero that is cause of great concern.

Certainly, I have learned that the worst is yet to come when looking into the situation. There is a likelihood of a disease outbreak that would significantly hurt the already victimized society.

Truly speaking, Pakistan cannot alone address the unfolding scenarios and the international community must redouble its effort and ensure justice.

Indeed, Pakistan has become ground zero for climate change calamities for the causes where its share is minimal, however, it suffers the most.

Developing countries like Pakistan and my country Ethiopia contribute small but the main causes are developed countries’ greed, and resistance to adjust their actions as to the scientific advice and warnings costs the world a lot.

Today Climate Change became a reality in which all states and non-state actors should oblige to adopt the doctrine of do-no-harm and refrain from their wrongdoing that aggravated the unfolding fiasco on planet earth.

It is clear that today’s human sufferings were caused by the self-centred, state of nature of developed State’s behaviour that polluted the environment and disrupted the ecosystem that brought us here.

Therefore, it is imperative for developed countries to avail climate finance, technology and capacity building for developing countries like Pakistan to mitigate and adapt mechanisms that help create a resilient economy.

To this end, it is mandatory to extend and redouble the effort to mobilize the funds to rescue, recover, rebuild and reconstruct the nation and ensure justice.

—The writer is envoy of Ethiopia in Pakistan.


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