If you’re thinking of donating an amount for flood victims, please double it! Yes, because the destruction still seems underestimated, severity less understood and devastations underreported. These floods are unprecedented by any means – more calamitous than 2010s as per consensus of disaster management observers. So, the harrowing stats of 1000+ dead, 3.3 million displaced, 200,000 houses destroyed and $4Billion loss to economy are likely to be dwarf numbers. That Pakistan was already grappling with economic challenges further adds to the crisis and push us to respond more generously.

Giving away few % of our income will not matter this time. Please accept it. Let’s jolt ourselves by imagining us in the hysterical clamor of people chased by waters willing to gobble up lives and livelihoods. A merciless natural catastrophe staring straight into our eyes. Now, we are definitely going to increase the donations multifold! The time merits going to the length of offloading savings and investments. Also, look at those unutilized and would-be-utilized valuables, wearables, medicines and other stuffs languishing in our stores but can be life-saving means for those perishing under the skies with lower half submerged.

So, is this a human-made crisis? In part, yes. The Nation woke up late, at least weeks after the swathes of lands inundated, lives lost, livestock and crops washed away. Secondly, Pakistan already ranked 8th in the climate risk index but who cared? I myself never. I lived in the comfort zone that those miseries are for poor and underprivileged and I’m resourceful enough to handle them. This is utter apathy.

Neither, as a voter, I demanded natural disaster management to culminate as focus area of electoral campaigning or government planning. Even educated masses are too engrossed by regency of events and hardly ponder over long-term development strategy such as construction of dams and empowering rescue authorities. We elect those who talk like us, behave like us, and SEEM to think like us. They provoke our religious, racial, and linguistic sentiments and make it to house every time.

Besides, the political leg pulling, and inordinate media attention hampered timely response to humanitarian crisis which again points finger towards lack of human empathy.

This is another aspect that makes this crisis ‘unparalleled’. It is apprehended that aftereffects of this catastrophe will haunt all of us. With transportation network crippled, crops destroyed, livestock hit, a looming financial crisis and high inflation await us all. It’s prudent to have a foresight on it and start optimizing our expenses accordingly.
Perhaps, the only positive aspect of this crisis is social media coverage directing the rescue efforts. In the previous times, it was not easy to understand exact level of need in disconnected areas leading to disproportionate mapping out of disbursements of supplies. Plus, the heroic efforts and colossal spirit to save lives filmed by handy cameras reinforces belief in humanity.

Could these real-life superheroes imagine doing that earlier? No, but they did. So, what’s stopping us do a lot more for affectees than we are. Let’s not wait and reach out to them wholeheartedly.

  • Muhammad Noman is a petroleum engineer by profession and has a passion to read and write about human behavior and society.

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