Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Call to establish flood risk zones in Pakistan

Sa'adia Reza in (Pakistan): Given that drastic climate change is inevitable, the only way to lessen its impact is to prepare ourselves and adapt to it in the best possible manner. In this regard, a city-specific roadmap was discussed at a workshop, Climate change adaptation strategy for Karachi — a roadmap, at a hotel on Tuesday.
Organised by a non-governmental organisation, Shehri — Citizens for a Better Environment, the event identified and examined various factors that led to the present climatic conditions, and assessed the critical vulnerabilities that Karachi may be exposed to due to climate change.
Urban planner Farhan Anwar highlighted the need to involve the city government in order to realise an improvement in adapting to climate change. Using visual aid, Anwar identified areas that are vulnerable to floods, droughts, sea-level rise and extreme heat events. He laid emphasis on the urgent need for a strategy to combat climate change in Karachi.
He noted that a national disaster management report had discussed the impact of climate change on transport, energy and other sectors when it should have taken into account urban areas, which are important stakeholders. Referring to the areas that are dotted with slums and hill settlements threatened by floods, Anwar said that there was a vital need to establish a ‘flood risk zone’ in order to rate the risk possibility.
...“Apart from Malir and Lyari rivers, we have bloated drainage and sewage systems,” he said, “In worst case scenario, in terms of flooding, storm water and rainfall, 50 per cent of the entire population in vulnerable areas will have to be evacuated. We need a surface management plan for Karachi, and should evaluate and improve the design and maintenance of drainage system.”...
A 1900 bird's eye view of Suddar Bazaar in Karachi, from the British Museum

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