Pakistan is laying at the feet of thousands of problems and climate change occupies a central place among these. It is a global issue but will be specifically more poisonous for countries like Pakistan because of their geographic location. Pakistan holds 5th rank among the countries hit by climate change. When it comes to the impacts of climate change, Pakistan will witness the issues like colossal human loss, displacement of millions of people, increase in illiteracy rate, exacerbation in the plight of women, economic loss due to collapse of the agriculture sector, political instability due to irresponsive leadership, and national disintegration. All these problems are going to turn the fortune of Pakistan upside down. Hence, the problem needs due focus to avoid the wrath and take timely actions.
Impacts of climate change on Pakistan
Loss of human lives
Climate change will result in a dreadful death toll. Experts claim that due to frequent heat waves, droughts, floods, and contaminated quality of air will cause a lot of fatal diseases like lung cancer, typhoid, and other air-borne and water-borne diseases. These diseases are too lethal that people with no access to medicine and treatment even may face death. For example, in every summer, hundreds of people lose their lives in heat strokes that happen in Karachi.
Displacement of people
Peoples living in coastal areas are under the stake of displacement. Rising sea levels and the threat of heavy rainfall might compel people to look for another area for settlement. For example, people living on the bank of the river Indus will have to seek another place. This movement will invite a lot of other issues for the migrants including excessive urbanization.
Increase in the illiteracy rate
Like every other disaster, climate change has already affected and going to affect education. Products of climate change displacements and diseases have become an agent of prevention for children from going to school. Moreover, economic losses have also compelled people to get their children to work to support the family at the expense of getting an education.
The worsening plight of women
Women in Pakistan are exclusively prone to the number of causalities coupled with gender-based violence. Since women are supposed to fulfil all the domestic tasks including child rearing, cooking, and arranging water in rural areas, any change in the weather pattern will seriously affect their condition. For example, in deserted areas like that, women have to walk 2.5 kilometres to arrange water if nearby water bodies go dry. CEO of civil society coalition on climate change, claims that such outcomes will expose women to Gender-based violations and other hygienic issues.
Political instability due to bogus leadership
In the state of climate change, Pakistan may also be politically destabilized. It has been witnessed that political leaders instead of showing performance are indulged in a blame game when the country is affected by any threat. Covid-19 has been the best example of this issue. In these situations of uncertainty, non-political forces get activated and play their role which temporarily manages the issues but causes adverse impacts in long term.
The Disparity in the distribution of resources as an outcome of climate change will also strike Pakistan. Unequal distribution of resources has already shaken the roots of Pakistan in form of national disintegration. And changes like drought, unemployment, and lack of accessibility to resources will sharpen the sense of alienation among the deprived ones. Eventually, they will degenerate into anti-state sentiments and activities. For example, due to being dry of water, people dependent upon fishing for livelihood have become unemployed and the state does not have any incentive for them.
The Collapse of the agriculture sector
Pakistan’s agriculture sector is no exception to a disaster like a climate change. The sector, according to the Pakistan Economic Survey, bears the potential of contributing 19% of the GDP and source of income for more than 75% of the rural population. However, certain effects of climate change like floods, excessive rainfall, and droughts will result in excessive flow, inadequate water, and soil erosion. Thus, agriculture would be in no position to yield the same amount of productivity.
To sum up, climate change is one of the most burning issues for Pakistan. It has fatal impacts on the politics, economy, and society of Pakistan. It will reduce the ability of Pakistan as a nation-state to nothingness. However, the stakeholders are still dormant and have failed to predict the crisis caused by the issue. Hence, they are obliged to take drastic steps to reduce the intensity of the problem.
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