Natural disasters ignite blame game not serious solutionsArchive
ISLAMABAD: A PML-N leader on Tuesday urged the PPP to set its house in order in Sindh and condemned the MQM for “failing to deliver” politically during the past decade.
“If such incidents occur again, PPP will lose people’s support entirely,” Parliamentary secretary for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha told the participants of a seminar on ‘Future Trends of Heatwaves and How to Cope’.
But instead of a serious discussion, the seminar, organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in the wake of the killer heatwave in Karachi, indulged more in blame game.
Mr. Ranjha blamed the nearly 1,500 deaths in the heatwave on the political government of Sindh and its officialdom. They were responsible for the contributory causes of water and power shortages, lack of facilities in the city hospitals and failure of environmental department to issue early warnings and suggest mitigation measures, he said.
Ironically, Mr Ranjha joined the debate late, after others had spoken against the politicians engaging in blame game instead of addressing the issues of natural disasters.
Indeed, for two hours only SDPI staff and interns debated amongst themselves what caused the heatwave in Karachi and how it was exacerbated by human activities.
“PML-N is blaming PPP. PTI is blaming PML-N. PPP is blaming someone else. Nobody is addressing this extreme environmental concern, which has claimed hundreds of lives,” lamented SDPI’s Dr Abid Q Suleri.
However, that didn’t stop the PML-N parliamentary secretary from upbraiding K-Electric, Karachi’s power company, for its “inefficiencies”.
“Successive governments are responsible for interfering with the workings of the Karachi electric supply system. The present government would have terminated the licence of KESC several months ago but it did not want the power crisis in Karachi worsen,” Mr Ranjha said.
Participants had some suggestions for the present government, which he assured to convey to his leadership.
Even the SDPI’s research fellows Dr Fahad Saeed and Arshad Abbasi brought nothing new to the table. Most of the information they shared with their colleagues at the seminar such as graphs and statistics from other countries were already known and available on the Internet, and shared over social media.
The gathering was told that the heatwave was caused by a low pressure system that developed in the Indian Ocean, sucking in all land bound moist and cool sea breeze.
“It even sucked in air from the land, causing the temperature to rise there,” said Dr Fahad Saeed.
With his expertise in the subject of Climate Change, he attributed the deaths and hospitalization of residents during the heatwave to power outages, water shortage and fasting that dehydrated people of Karachi.
In the face of the rapidly emerging abnormalities in weather patterns, caused by the changing climate, he cautioned of two heatwaves striking in a year by 2025.
Arshad Abbasi stressed on mitigation and urged that neighbouring countries recognise heatwave as a regional problem, identify the goals that intend to achieve and sign trans-boundry agreements to address challenges of climate change together.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2015
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