UN chief ‘has never seen climate carnage’ like Pakistan floods

KARACHI: Antonio, Secretary General of the United Nations Guterres said on Saturday he had “never seen climate carnage” on such a scale as he visited flood-hit areas of Pakistan, blaming wealthier countries for the devastation.
Nearly 1,400 people have died in floods that cover an area the size of the UK and have wiped out crops and destroyed homes, businesses, roads and bridges.
Guterres said he hoped his visit would galvanize support for Pakistan, which has estimated the provisional cost of the disaster at more than $30 billion, according to the government’s flood relief center.
“I have seen many humanitarian disasters around the world, but I have never seen climate carnage on this scale,” he told a news conference in the port city of Karachi after being witnessed the worst damage in southern Pakistan.
“I just don’t have words to describe what I saw today.”
Pakistan receives heavy rains – often destructive – during its annual monsoon season, which is crucial for agriculture and water supply.
But downpours as intense as this year’s have not been seen in decades, while rapid melting of glaciers in the north have piled pressure on waterways for months.
“Wealthier countries are morally responsible to help developing countries like Pakistan recover from disasters like this and adapt to build resilience to climate impacts that will unfortunately be repeated in the future,” said António Guterres, adding that G20 countries are responsible for 80% of today’s disasters. emissions.
Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but it is eighth on a list compiled by the NGO Germanwatch of the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change.
Around 33 million people were affected by the floods, which destroyed around two million homes and business premises, washed away 7,000 kilometers (4,300 miles) of roads and collapsed 500 bridges.
António Guterres lamented the lack of attention the world pays to climate change, especially industrialized countries.
“This is madness, this is collective suicide,” he said after arriving in Pakistan on Friday.
The effect of the torrential rains was two-fold: destructive flash floods in the rivers of the mountainous north and a slow accumulation of water in the plains of the south.
“All the children, men and women are roasting in this scorching heat. We have nothing to eat, there is no roof over our heads”, Rozina Solangia 30-year-old housewife living in an IDP camp near Sukkurtold AFP on Friday.
“He has to do something for us poor people,” she said of the UN chief’s visit.
The meteorological office said Pakistan received five times more rain than normal in 2022. padidana small town in Sindh province, has been flooded by more than 1.8 meters (71 inches) since the monsoon began in June.
Water levels reached much higher in areas where rivers and lakes overflowed, creating dramatic inland seas.
Thousands of temporary campsites have sprung up on slivers of high ground in the south and west – often roads and railroads in a landscape of water.
With people and livestock crammed together, the camps are ripe for outbreaks, with many cases of mosquito-borne dengue fever reported, as well as scabies.
During his quick tour, Guterres stopped at some of these makeshift camps and met desperate flood victims, including a woman who gave birth overnight.
Dressed in an Ajrak shawl with a traditional Sindhi print, he then inspected the 4,500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site Mohenjo-daro, which suffered water damage from the relentless rains of the monsoon.


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