Karachi is perhaps one of the most ancient cities in the world. Since it is a natural harbour, it has long been favoured by humans for economic purposes. Even today, in the modern era, Karachi, due to its active port facilities, generates the highest amount of wealth for the country of Pakistan. It is the one city without which Pakistan cannot fathom existing, for an absence of the tremendous financial support provided by it would cripple the country’s already weak economy. The corruption that has plagued Pakistan since its inception back in 1947, and which now runs seamlessly through its essential vessels, has taken its toll on all organs of the country; however, it is Karachi that has suffered the most. Despite its vitality, the governments have always neglected this city and have failed to extract the best out of it. Karachi is left to rot with heaps of garbage, preventable diseases, poor sanitary and water management systems, and crime. Inefficient water and flood management facilities have resulted in floods every year, when even a few inches of rain cause destruction and wreak havoc on the regular metro life. If the rains turn out to be massive, the city is paralysed, and normal life comes to a halt. Karachi Floods: The Impact of Massive Rains on Regular Metro Life.
As mentioned above, the city is not equipped with the right tools to deal with its flood problem. The water drainage system is under-maintained and obsolete and is hence incapable of managing massive rains. The consequences are as horrible as we see in the news: the city is drowned. The roads are flooded with contaminated water, electricity poles fall, and manholes are left open. These result in a healthcare crisis, leading to several immediate and late problems. Cases of people getting electrocuted by the fallen current lines, skyrockets. Several of those who have been shocked by the current succumb to the damages caused by the even and die at the spot. Others fail to get immediate medical attention, thanks to commuting problems caused by flooding, and lose their lives at the hands of their wounds.
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Another distressing thing that negatively impacts the health and lives of the residents of Karachi is open manholes. As aforementioned, because the roads are flooded with opaque, muddy water, it becomes very difficult to see where one is stepping. Even though people refrain from venturing out a lot during this condition, it is impossible to just sit back in one location. Life requires movement and forces individuals to dare to step outside. Many of them fall prey to open manholes. Numerous cases have been reported where people accidentally fall into the gutters. This, often, immediately claims the life of the poor soul. If by any luck, the victim is rescued before he/ she loses his/ her life, chances of living a healthy life in the future are minimal. Drowning in extremely contaminated water pregnant with bacteria and viruses, ingesting it by accident, does nothing but expose one’s system to all sorts of harmful diseases, like typhoid, cholera and hepatitis.
It is also true that routine life cannot be restored if the populace is unhealthy. Even when the floods die out and the rains stop, the long-term consequences continue to haunt the people of Karachi. A good majority of the city is affected by the diseases mentioned above. The healthcare department is overburdened and fails to deliver efficiently at the time of need. The systems are depressed, and thousands of people must bear the weight of life-threatening ailments. The number of instances of vector-borne diseases, like malaria and dengue, shoot to high levels. However, probably the thing that affects the most is the spread of leptospirosis, an epidemic-prone disease caused by a type of bacteria sufficiently found in rodents’ urine. The spread of this condition adds the final nail to the coffin and completely disrupts metro life, even when the floods have receded.
The healthcare issues that arise because of them take a lot of valuable lives, sicken the rest, and completely render metro life useless. This is something Pakistan cannot afford at all. Therefore, it is past time that the government of Pakistan fully realize how harmful the floods are to not only the economy of Karachi, but also to the economy of Pakistan, and take definite action in improving the condition.