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Urban resilience

29 1 0

DUE to its high population density, monsoon-dependent agricultural economy and aging infrastructure, Pakistan is among the top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change. It has already endured several climate-related losses in the form of mega floods, which are estimated to have cost the country one per cent of its annual GDP between 2005 and 2013.

In 2010 monsoon-induced floods killed 2,000 people and left over 20 million homeless. The floods submerged over a fifth of the country and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of crops and infrastructure. In 2015, a lethal heatwave claimed over 1,000 lives in the country’s largest city, Karachi. Recently, heavy downpours inundated Karachi, bringing life to a soggy standstill.

The pattern of increasingly frequent extreme weather events predicted by scientists is becoming alarmingly obvious, but efforts to mitigate climate change have come too little, too late. Against this backdrop of unpredictable climate events, vulnerable cities must begin preparing for climate fluctuations that are expected to occur in the future, and that may become the new norm.

Investment in infrastructure can save lives.

A global ranking of cities under threat from natural disasters shows that floods are the biggest threat to residents, followed by earthquakes and........

© Dawn