“The people of Pakistan are the victims of a grim calculus of climate injustice”..…a quote from the remarks of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ at the General Assembly on Pakistan floods, in New York on 7th October 2022.
Pakistan’s catastrophic 2022 floods, made the country; first victim of massive destruction caused due to climate change. The impact of climate change on Pakistan is significant and diverse, with both short-term and long-term consequences for the country’s environment as well as economy.
Around 32 Million people were affected with 2.28 Million houses either totally destroyed or damaged. Around 18000 sq.km of cropland and 1.16 Million live stock made the poor suffer most. As a consequence of massive destruction of civic, social and economic Infrastructure, the ensuing losses are huge and for Pakistan disproportionately large. An estimated damage of USD 32 Billion and total disruption of life with no signs of recovery are matters of serious concern. However Rotarians are taking this challenge as yet another opportunity to serve. There has been exemplary ways Rotarians and friends around the globe respond to disasters when ever and wherever it occurs; so are they contributing for Pakistan. Local rotarians are front line voluntary workers and all others are backing them with timely support.
Rotary Pakistan Smart Villages Program will help develop sustainable indigenous living with the leverage of innovation and technology. These Smart villages initiated for poorest amongst the poor will play a critical role in mitigating the impact of climate change by promoting sustainable agriculture, developing renewable energy systems, improving waste management, enhancing water management etc. While use of indigenous material and skills in construction will create employment and enhance socio economic sustainability. By implementing innovative solutions and women centered community driven participatory approach; smart villages will create sustainable and resilient rural communities that also contributes to the global efforts of climate change.
Pakistan has a very low carbon footprint and is responsible for less than 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions yet it is paying huge price for the man driven disaster caused due to climate change. Three of it’s neighbour countries are amongst the top 10 carbon producing countries of the world and they all need to think.
The wealthier nations and the Group of 20 (G20) countries responsible for 80% of emissions are invited to support the effort. They can not just help in rebuilding these flood affected villages but also take action in the right directions to mitigate in the rising toll of disasters globally.
We urge individual and corporate donors, international financial institutions and other relevant local & international organizations, along with the private sector and civil society to fully support Rotary Pakistan Smart Villages in transforming the communities.