Extreme weather and lack of preparedness


It is no more a rocket science to understand that the climate is rapidly changing. Extreme weather conditions are causing catastrophes in various parts of the world, yet the state of callousness of our authorities towards this conspicuous reality is bewildering. What we do each time is to fight with a natural calamity after its occurrence. Apparently, nothing is done in advance. Lack of preparedness is manifest every time. consider for example the case of recent deadly heatwave in which state authorities failed not only in providing life-saving treatment to the affected people, but even in finding a suitable place for the burial of dead. People were left in the lurch to fend for themselves. Such a response is shocking, for it aggravates the situation further and compounds the misery of sufferers.

While the images of havoc caused by heatwave are still fresh in our memories, weather has yet again demonstrated its rage in the form of flash floods and torrential rains; and the authorities too has yet again shown their unpreparedness. Like previous similar events, the nature of damage is same: lives were lost; infrastructure destroyed; people displaced and normal life has been badly affected. Not surprisingly, this time, too, the state response is not dissimilar to the previous ones: visiting of elites to the affected areas, taking ariel views, making a show of distributing food among and mingling with affected people, issuing statements and indulging in blame game as usual.

Each time promises are made about enhancing our capabilities to mitigate the negative effects of future calamities; but nothing is done practically. once we r under the clouds, we are unabashedly told that it is the will of God to make us suffer and who we are to interfere in His affairs. True, Pakistan is not a poor country but poorly managed country. And how poor our management is, becomes apparent during such extreme conditions. We never give an impression that we are a proactive nation, preparing in advance and taking responsibility of our actions.

Indeed, there is no dearth of expert opinion on how to prepare for such natural phenomena. Of course, we cannot prevent them from recurring. What we can do is to learn from our past mistakes and make a comprehensive plan for minimizing the future damages. It is only the will of those at the helm of affairs that can make it happen. Let us make a commitment of not giving an impression each time that we are a reactive nation that never learns from past to prepare for future; what it does, is just to regret over the losses.