At least seven people have died as a result of Lahore’s record-breaking rains, which has also caused the city to become what some media outlets have nicknamed an “urban swamp.” Local authorities report that the city has received more than 291 millimeters (mm) of rain, with more than a dozen places receiving more than 200mm. Lahore was paralyses and its residents’ lives were left to the mercy of the elements and their interaction with our poor urban infrastructure, as is always the case in our urban centers during spells of heavy rain, much alone ones that break multi-decade records. Unfortunately, this is standard practice in Pakistan when it comes to heavy rain and large cities. What has changed is the previously unheard-of frequency of such occurrences and the rapidly accelerating rate of climate change, which Pakistan is leading. Less than a year has passed since the deadliest floods in our history, which killed more than 1700 people and destroyed more than 2.2 million dwellings in Sindh and Baluchistan. Now it seems as though another devastating rainy season is just getting started.
Everyone should understand that climate change and its effects on extreme weather occurrences are real and will continue to exist. Furthermore, it doesn’t appear like anyone is aware of how quickly things are changing or what it means for the nation. Although we do have a national climate change policy, when we enter an era where extreme weather events become a yearly occurrence, this policy will likely need to be upgraded into a national climate change emergency. Our ability to handle such issues as they arise requires an immediate update. For a time when excessive rainfall seems to be the new normal, our cities are woefully unprepared. of this perspective, enhancing the infrastructure of cities,
Pakistan needs drainage systems that can withstand prolonged downpours so that large cities won’t come to a complete stop when ambulances and other emergency vehicles need to get to people quickly. Better road maintenance is required to prevent every puddle from developing into a possible ditch or pothole that might sabotage an automobile. Additionally, more money will need to be spent on staffing and supplying emergency services, which are insufficient to handle the demands of our expanding metropolitan populations. The housing situation for this demographic requires more consideration. With millions of largely lower-income residents living in improvised, shoddy-built housing settlements dispersed over miles of our cities, urban sprawl is the norm. These sprawling communities, which are primarily made up of lower-income individuals, need to be replaced with sturdy, reasonably priced vertical housing that can weather rain, is better suited to drainage systems, and will relieve urban congestion. One of the things driving this process is climate change, which harms the agricultural sector and makes it difficult for our administration to quickly relocate people displaced by natural catastrophes. Pakistan has a plethora of urban planning issues. In none of our big cities is a master plan being implemented. Without considering the demands of a city, a jumble of overpasses and transit projects are constructed. In the guise of sprucing up a city and luring investors, the impoverished are forced out of their homes and their businesses are destroyed. Currently, a national effort is required to find a solution to protect people’s safety and means of subsistence in the face of a relentless weather assault.