Balochistan: its natural calamities and future roadmap

Syed Mansoor Ahmed

Balochistan is wide-open to the natural calamities. The geographical features of the province vary with every single kilometre. There are large tracts of plains in the uppermost belt of Balochistan. However, the rest of the landscape is covered with mountains. 

Of late, record rainfall has brought much destruction turning an otherwise blessing into disaster in the Eastern Balochistan. Khuzdar, Jhal Magsi, Dera Murad Jamali, Bolan, and adjacent districts have reported the worst flash floods following torrential downpours. The overflow of the watersheds caused more damages in specific areas.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) have released the press statements for taking the safety measures in view of forecast for further spells. The recent rainfalls have created produced more challenges. Many roads are blocked, bridges and safety barriers have been washed away in flash floods.

It is impossible to maintain the pace of development in the given circumstances. The measures taken by the authorities proved inefficient in the face of forceful calamity. Local administration seems to be having no control over the situation. The bitter reality is that it is beyond their capacity.

The flash floods are only a manifestation of a deeper phenomenon that are affecting townships in crises ridden province. Global warming is changing the pattern of rain in the whole world. It is, therefore, need to create environmentally resilient settlements. The challenges have to be faced with new strategies. We must educate the vulnerable populations about the intensity of the matter.

It is not merely the task of the government but also of the public to take protective measures. There is no power to undo the natural phenomena. The damages that can be caused can be reduced through environmental risk assessment. Planting trees might reduce the frequency of soil erosion and subsequent land sliding. Improving and expanding sewers in urban cities might control urban flooding. Better urban planning can reduce the damage in urban centres. Resilient populations and societies can be built through active environmental risk assessment and better strategy to reduce these risks.

The writer is the student at the University of Management and Technology Lahore and Public Policy Analyst based in Quetta.

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