Unending misery

Date:

The past week has been everything that is a nightmare for Karachiites—rain, urban flooding, power outages, and unending traffic jams. A total of 26 people were reported to have been killed in rain-related incidents across Sindh. Billions worth of infrastructure stands soaked in waist-deep water. Low-lying areas have been inundated, houses being flooded with rain and sewage water.

Yet, the misery doesn’t end for the people of Karachi here.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has predicted another similar spell of rain to be entering Sindh from Thursday evening and is likely to cause heavy to very heavy rainfall in the province including Karachi. The other districts that are likely to receive the wet spell with thunderstorms include Thatta, Badin, Mithi, Tharparkar, Umerkot, Islamkot, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana.

After a week of Eidul Azha which almost every year ends leaving the city more wrecked than usual, swamped with flies and filled with the stench of rotting offal along roadsides, Karachi now braces for what is expected to be nothing less than a catastrophe.

One would assume that the number of times Karachi has gone through the worse, the city might be immune to all the vile but every time it hurts differently. The metropolis which promises to be the economic vein of the country comes to a complete standstill every year making not just the people of Karachi suffer but also bringing the economy to a grinding halt.

It is a tragedy that despite being so vital for Pakistan, Karachi has continued to suffer the neglect of the numerous governments—both federal and provincial. Be it the MQM, PPP or PTI every political party has only disappointed the people of the city of lights. Each government is sworn-in with promises of better infrastructure for Karachi and to provide basic amenities to the locals but everything is soon forgotten.

The forgiving city then looks up for another messiah who might bring some change for the better only to end up disappointed again. The cycle doesn’t end and neither does the misery.

Climate change over the years has made Karachi more prone to regular rainfalls and it is important the problems attached to it are recognized and addressed by the government at the earliest. It is imperative that the government improve the infrastructure of the city to be durable to rain on war footing.     

Predicting another spell of rain while Karachi is already struggling to stay afloat from the previous rain is only bad news for the residents.

The federal and provincial governments should work in tandem to help Karachi out of the forthcoming crisis and build up a strategy with long-term benefits for the city and its residents.

Basma Siddiqui
Basma Siddiquihttp://narratives.com.pk
The writer is a journalist who has been associated with The Express Tribune and Bol News and can be reached @BasmaSiddiqui.
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