Pakistan Is Facing a Dire Environmental Crisis

Here’s how it is affecting vulnerable people in the region.

Hakam Zadi stands in the floodwaters in front of her flooded home in Manghal Khan Brohi village. "We don't know what happened. It was very sudden. I was so frightened, I nearly fainted. All my family were so afraid of losing lives. The flood destroyed our houses, and we have lost all of our belongings. Now we have nothing, and we are so weak. We have no idea whether the government will come to help us or not. We don't think we will find any help in the camps. We need food and other resources. We need rescue. I am more than seventy years old. It is only the second time I have seen such a flood but this is bigger than the first one". The floods in Pakistan have affected 20 million people, destroying around 1.8 million homes. More than seven million people remain in need of emergency shelter. (Photo by Gideon Mendel For Action Aid/ In Pictures/Corbis via Getty Images)
Hakam Zadi stands in the floodwaters in front of her flooded home in Manghal Khan Brohi village. "We don't know what happened. It was very sudden. I was so frightened, I nearly fainted. All my family were so afraid of losing lives. The flood destroyed our houses, and we have lost all of our belongings. Now we have nothing, and we are so weak. We have no idea whether the government will come to help us or not. We don't think we will find any help in the camps. We need food and other resources. We need rescue. I am more than seventy years old. It is only the second time I have seen such a flood but this is bigger than the first one". The floods in Pakistan have affected 20 million people, destroying around 1.8 million homes. More than seven million people remain in need of emergency shelter. (Photo by Gideon Mendel For Action Aid/ In Pictures/Corbis via Getty Images)

Last month, Jacobabad, Pakistan became the hottest city on Earth.

The extreme heat waves in Pakistan are responsible for a large number of deaths and failed crop cycles. Rising temperatures have also led to the melting of many glaciers in Pakistan. In May, melted ice from the Shisper glacier led to flooding in the Hunza Valley — destroying a bridge and leaving people stranded.


 

Photo Credit: Ahmed stands in the centre of the town of Khairpur Nathan Shah which had been totally submerged by floodwaters. The floods in Pakistan have caused huge economic damage and damage to infrastructure. More than 20 million people have been affected and around 1.8 million homes have been destroyed. More than seven million people remain in need of emergency shelter. | Location: Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sindh, Pakistan. (Photo by Gideon Mendel For Action Aid/ In Pictures/Corbis via Getty Images)

Pregnant people are among the most vulnerable when it comes to high temperatures. An analysis of studies conducted since the 1990s found that pregnant people have a higher risk of suffering adverse effects after extended heat exposure. People from low-income countries like Pakistan are even more at risk, as their economic situations force them to work through pregnancies without things like air-conditioning or fans.

Environmental experts propose that governments and leaders start combatting the climate crisis by making large-scale structural changes such as offering medical and social services to women throughout the day. They also suggest that people make small daily changes such as using clean energy stoves instead of open-fire ones and replacing heat-attracting roofing material with reflective solar material.