The devastating floods which ravaged Pakistan in the summer of 2022 were unlike anything the South Asian country has experienced before. The frightening natural disaster has claimed the lives of over 1,700 people and washed away thousands of homes, roads, villages, farmland, bridges, hospitals and schools. This flooding has caused an estimated $30 billion in financial losses, with further disruption to the economy expected.
One-third of the country is still submerged underwater, and dangerous, waterborne diseases like cholera are spreading fast among the surviving population. Millions across the country are now struggling to survive, amid homelessness, poverty, and loss of livelihoods, along with shortages of food, clean water, sanitation, and medical supplies.
In this blog post, we will outline the answer to the question ‘why is Pakistan flooding so badly?’ to help you better understand the situation.
Why is Pakistan flooding so badly?
There are various reasons why Pakistan experienced this catastrophic flooding, such as:
Torrential monsoon rainfall
The South Asian continent is prone to excessive rainfall during the monsoon season, but Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to recurring floods.
From June 2022, Pakistan experienced extremely severe rains during its annual monsoon season. So unprecedented was this rain, that it was nearly 3 times higher than the country’s 30-year average. This ‘monster’ monsoon rainfall caused flash flooding and deadly landslides across Pakistan, with the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan being the worst hit.
This torrential rainfall caused the river Indus, which runs through Pakistan, to burst its banks. Consequently, the water levels in Pakistan rose to dangerously high levels.
This non-stop heavy rainfall has wreaked havoc across Pakistan, having damaged and washed away dams, buildings, roads, crops and livestock.
Without a doubt, global warming also caused catastrophic floods in Pakistan. Climate scientists have suggested that human-caused climate change helped drive the natural disaster.
Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, yet the country is one of the worst affected by climate change.
As more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere, due to human activities, this leads to global warming.
- more heavy rainfall
- flooding of islands and coastal cities
- devastating hurricanes
- more extreme heat conditions (such as heatwaves and wildfires)
- forced migration of humans and animal species
- food shortages
- spread of diseases and pandemics
- desertification of fertile areas (turning fertile land into barren, unproductive land)
- impacting the health and reproduction of livestock and agriculture.
As you can see, climate change is a huge threat to the world. Not only does it lead to severe weather conditions like flooding, but it also puts strain on things like food, water, energy and infrastructure- which ultimately puts future generations at risk.
Now, the people of Pakistan are bearing the brunt, as the 2022 floods have left millions of lives in absolute ruin and despair.
Melting glaciers in the Himalayas
Pakistan is home to more glaciers than anywhere else on the earth, outside the poles- with more than 7,000 of them in the country, and almost all of them in the northern regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
During the spring and summer of 2022, the world experienced a heatwave, with record-breaking heat. In Pakistan, temperatures reached as high as 49.5 °C. These soaring temperatures exacerbated water and energy shortages, devasted crops, and left people unable to work during hours of intense heat.
This extreme heat has caused glaciers in Pakistan to melt rapidly. This water then flowed to the land and caused the formation of high-elevation glacial lakes and ice dams. The torrential rainfall then caused these ice dams to break and burst, which increased the volume of water submerging the land. These glacial lake outbursts worsened the flash flooding, as they caused more buildings, villages and infrastructure to be washed away.
Hence, melting glaciers definitely exacerbated the flooding in Pakistan. As the earth gets hotter and hotter, glaciers are shrinking further. This is a huge global threat, as melting glaciers add more water to the earth’s oceans and cause rivers to swell. This can lead to the destruction of habitats and extreme weather conditions, such as flooding, heatwaves and even drought.
The sheer amount of rainfall that fell in Pakistan in the year 2022 would have been overwhelming for any country to cope with. But Pakistan lacked the adequate infrastructure and flood defences to contain the ravaging floodwaters.
Over the years, the South Asian country has implemented many flood protection measures, to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. However, there simply aren’t enough of these measures altogether, especially in the worst-hit regions such as Sindh and Balochistan.
Since the floods, the Pakistani government is now revising their flood management strategies and disaster plans. They are also rebuilding the infrastructure to help contain catastrophic floodwaters.
This is something that the Pakistan government urgently need to prioritise, as the region will be susceptible to more flash flooding and extreme weather conditions in the future.
How can we support people in Pakistan who have been affected by the summer 2022 floods?
So, why is Pakistan flooding so badly? Well, it is due to a combination of human-driven climate change and the natural landscape of Pakistan, which makes it more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.
As you can see, the 2022 floods have had extremely devastating consequences across Pakistan.
That is why we at Zohra Foundation believe it is important to show solidarity to Pakistan, by donating to the people who need our urgent help during this humanitarian crisis.
Following the summer 2022 floods, the team at Zohra Foundation have been distributing cooked meals, clean water, kitchen utensils, tents and hygiene kits to address the immediate needs of the people affected.
Zohra Foundation relies on donations from supporters to fund this emergency aid for the people who urgently need our help.
Donate to the Zohra Foundation Pakistan Flood Appeal today– so that the affected people in Pakistan can move forward and restore some normality in their lives.
Every penny helps- your donations will feed people who have no food, no shelter and no money to support themselves and their families.
Are my donations to Zohra Foundation eligible as Zakat?
Yes. All projects at Zohra Foundation are Zakat eligible. In the last six years, we have saved the lives of thousands of vulnerable people across Pakistan through our free medical treatment and sponsorship programmes.
You can choose to make a one-off donation or donate on a monthly basis.
In a Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was asked what the best deeds are. He said: “To bring happiness to a believer, to satisfy his hunger, to clothe his nakedness, or to fulfill his needs.”
This beautiful Hadith shows you the importance of giving to charity- it allows you to earn great rewards, increase blessings in your life, and safeguard yourself on the Day of Resurrection.
Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity) is also an act which is very pleasing to God. The Messenger of Allah said: “When a man dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity (Sadaqah Jariyah), beneficial knowledge and a righteous son who prays for him.”
Therefore, Sadaqah Jariyah is an excellent way to reap countless rewards for years to come. It is a truly impactful gesture, as it makes a huge difference for vulnerable communities.
Your Sadaqah Jariyah can help support multiple generations of a needy family, to help with their health, hunger and hygiene needs.
By supporting Zohra Foundation as part of your Sadaqah or Zakat, you will be saving the life of someone in need and fulfilling your Islamic duty to care for elders and the poor.
Click here to view the Zakat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and find out more.
Click here to donate to Zohra Foundation to fund urgent aid for Pakistan’s most vulnerable people and communities.
Thank you for donating to Zohra Foundation. Every donation will make a difference in the lives of people who desperately need immediate relief and financial assistance during this monumental crisis.
About Zohra Foundation
Zohra Foundation is a London-based charity organization that aims to improve the lives of millions of orphans, widows and the elderly throughout Pakistan and respond to emergencies in other parts of the world.
In the last five years, we have built long-term partnerships with networks of paid specialists, volunteer doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. These relationships mean that we understand how to meet the immediate and long-term needs of the local population.
We are currently delivering emergency relief across Pakistan, following the devastating floods of summer 2022.
Donate to Zohra Foundation’s Pakistan Flood appeal here.
To learn more about Zohra Foundation, visit the website here.
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We hope we have answered the question ‘why is Pakistan flooding so badly?’