Wash away

I’ve been away from the blogosphere and thus have missed reporting on some major news.

First of all I’d like to bring to your attention the floods that are ravaging Pakistan at the moment. The country’s geography encompasses a large portion of alluvial plains with many rivers flowing across, so it is used to seasonal floods. During the mosoon period the rivers often burst their banks, yet at the moment Pakistan is experiencing the worst rainfalls and conseuqently, the worst floods it has ever had in the last 80 years.

The floods that started in have already caused about 1’600 casualties and the material damages are enormous: 263’000 houses have been partially or completely destroyed, many thousands of cattle are dead and about 1.4m acres of agricultural land have been flooded.

In terms of human consequences, the authorities have had to evacuate about 500’000 people when another 4.5m are affected by the flood. Currently, humanitarian interventions are focused around finding shelter for the displaced Pakistani. There are also fears of colera outbreaks among the survivors of the floods.

This highlights the problem of environmental refugees or migrants as they are refered to. It is not yet a very common topic for international organisations and politics in general but with climate change and its predicted effects it is certain that human settlements will be affected. Whether it is desertification, water stress or flooding the consequences of climate change will be strongly felt by vulnerable populations, like that of Pakistan. On top of that the regions most vulnerable and less equipped to adapt to environmental degradations caused by climate change are also regions from the Global South.

In order to avoid further catastrophes like what is currently happening in Pakistan, what happens frequently in Bangladesh or may occur to Small Island States it is important to consider environmental migrations as international challenges and deal with them accordingly.

What you can do:

Many humanitarian agencies have launched emergency relief programmes and appeal to donations, here are a few:

Please spread the message, help raise awareness.

source: BBC and The Guardian

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