Monday, October 17, 2011

Slip sliding away: Pakistan declining fast

Zahrah Nasir in the Nation (Pakistan): A total lack of seriousness when it comes down to the necessary nitty-gritty of dealing with both the existing and potential catastrophic effects of climate change has pushed Pakistan into a fast descending spiral of utter hopelessness right across the board: A situation exacerbated by political shenanigans, human greed and a dangerously escalating social imbalance, which no one - absolutely no one - appears to have the slightest interest in reversing.

Face to face conferences, video conferences via satellite and meetings of many kinds and at a many levels, from the very top downwards, can no longer disguise the indisputable fact that nothing of a concrete nature is actually happening to prevent unimaginable, to most, future ‘natural’ catastrophes from further decimating an already suffering population, especially the countless millions of ‘ordinary’ people struggling to survive in what can only be described as a level of poverty that should not exist in a country such as Pakistan which, despite reports and manufactured impressions to the contrary, is far from being a poor nation in financial terms. It is only necessary to look around at the lifestyle and taken for granted expectations of a sizeable percentage of the population, along with the accoutrements they ‘acquire’, in order to realistically confirm the latter point.

According to a recently released report by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, the number of people in Sindh to be affected by this year’s monsoon generated flooding is exactly 8,920,631, with approximately 599,224 of those affected currently being ‘catered for’ in relief camps set up under various umbrellas across the province and the others making do and salvaging what they can from a situation which, as there was more than ample warning, could have been, if not completely then at least partially, avoided....

Shown here Aug. 11, 2010, flood waters have washed away all ground means to reach the people stranded in the northern areas of the Swat valley in Pakistan

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