Pakistan is among the countries worst hit by the climate – a trailer of which was witnessed during last year’s floods in the country. As the country is still reeling from the effects of the 2022 floods, the MET office has issued a warning of a catastrophic monsoon and a 2022-like flood situation in the country this year as well.
Climate change factors like heat waves, early monsoons, and glacier melt increase the chances of floods in the country. Unfortunately, the increased risk of flooding in the country is supplemented by widespread destruction app¬e¬ared due to a lack of preparedness, management, and poor infrastructure. Pakistan Economic Survey 2022-23, released yesterday, reveals that one-third of the country was under water, affecting 33 million people. Approximately 8 million people have been displaced, and the magnitude of the disaster was unprecedented, far outweighing the devastation caused by the 2010 floods.
As expected, the floods most affected communities and households in extreme poverty. The special section on flood 2022 impact assessment in the latest economic survey shows a total of $14.9 billion, with a $15.2 billion loss to the GDP and $16.3 billion required for rehabilitation.
Infrastructure is the first flooding tragedy; the 2022 floods resulted in $5.6 billion in damage to housing; $3.7 billion to agriculture, livestock, and fisheries; and $3.3 billion to transport and communications. However, the recovery and reconstruction needs are in reverse order regarding cost, with transport and communication leading the process, followed by agriculture and livestock, and then household.
Details of the assessment also show region/province-wise damages and needs. Sindh was undoubtedly affected disproportionately, with damage and loss totaling over $18 billion.
And an even more alarming yet qualitative indicator of the 2022 Flood catastrophe is the widening schism in the already existing disparities, such as gender inequalities and polarized communities.