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Pakistan Is Still Flooded!

The raid to kill Osama bin Laden is also a factor.

It has been weeks since Pakistan had their biblical flood that covered a third of the nation’s landmass. And still, the floodwaters have not totally receded. The reality of what has happened and the ramifications of this flood are only now becoming clearer as the disaster plays out.

What has happened is that the flooding destroyed crops, like cotton, that were in the fields ready to harvest. This is the farmers’ cash crop that gives them money to live on. Wheat is the next crop to be planted, right about now, but fields are still covered in water. Even if the waters recede, the ground will be so wet that you can’t till it to plant the wheat. The wheat crop is what is used to feed farmers’ families.

Then, because of the floodwaters, water-borne diseases are starting to take their toll, along with malaria and insect-borne diseases. Children are already dying. Housing is also an issue in that most homes in rural areas are made of mud bricks that caused walls to collapse from the rain and floods.

There is also the Osama bin Laden factor. After that raid to kill him, Pakistan authorities made it difficult for large nonprofit agencies to operate in the country. Many, if not most, have left Pakistan. They were the ones in the past who had the resources to help respond to the need for food and its distribution. Those resources are gone.

The above information was gleaned from this The Daily podcast: “Pakistan, Under Water.”

What caused the flooding in the first place is, you guessed it, believed to be part of the climate change impacts we are seeing worldwide. Specifically the timing of monsoon rains that are needed, but not all at once as was experienced. See this New York Times story: “The Monsoon Is Becoming More Extreme.”

Think of all the climate-fueled disasters in 2022. Heat, drought, flooding, tornadoes, extreme rains, a hurricane, water shortages, crop failures, water rationing ... on and on. And it is likely to get worse in the coming years!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.