Sherry Rehman deplores politics on floods
Says health crisis amid stagnant floodwater major challenge
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Federal Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman Wednesday said that it is time that we put aside our political differences, focus on the ruinous flood situation, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing a news conference, flanked by Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar and Senator Shahadat Awan, she urged all political parties to show unity and solidarity for service of the nation amid the natural disaster.
“It is time that we put aside our political differences and stop criticizing each other. The propagandas against each other by ministers, ex ministers, party leaders is going to take us nowhere but even deeper in misery.”
She said almost half of the country was submerged under floodwater that had stagnated in many places lurking the risk of waterborne disease and a health crisis which was major challenge to be managed by the government.
Sherry said that massive flash floods had inundated various parts of 72 districts out of the total 160 as these areas were also declared calamity hit areas, adding 110 district were affected by the floods making it half of the country.
She said it was the ninth week since the onset of Monsoon downpour and the country had no precedent of such torrential rains in its living history.
“The communication systems are crippling down. I can understand how tough situation is being faced by the people without food, drinking water, and formula milk for children. 700% and 600% more rainfall are recorded as compared to the average during this monsoon season in Sindh and Balochistan respectively and no monsoon rains have been occurred before with such magnitude.”
The minister underlined that this was not monsoon rather a disaster and it was mainly due to climate change and global warming.
Sherry said that Pakistan’s part in the global warming is even lesser than one percent as we have less emissions of fossil fuels so the major emitters should take the blame for this disaster and should be responsible for it.
She also suggested that we should make it a part of our policies, green diplomacy and commercial policies as well. And that we should be prepared for the aftermaths of the flood as the stagnant water in Sindh and Balochistan will cause many waterborne diseases and give birth to dengue mosquitoes.
She said that the worldwide famous philanthropist Bill Gates also take part in the relief programs for the flood victims.
“The global scientists also claim that it is environmental degradation as glaciers in Pakistan are melting at a rapid pace but our greenhouse gas emissions are below one percent,” he added.
The minister opined that the government would had to make the issue as part of its foreign policy, green diplomacy and global negotiations.
“There should be a clear discussion on the global warming hazards that are impacting our people and farmers in the South. In the North mainly Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the River Indus used to embrace inundation but this time floodwater had accumulated in Balochistan and Punjab which is causing problems,” she added.
“The next stage is of health management as swarms of mosquitoes are proliferating and water borne diseases to break out in the flood-hit areas of Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab which will add further problems for the people.”
The minister appealed the philanthropists to contribute their share in relief accounts and donate it to credible institutions and also PM Relief Fund for relief efforts.