The devastating effects of Pakistan’s floods and the rulers’ hostility towards people

Arial view of flooding, Pakistan 2010. Photo: Australian Government

Pakistan was recently devastated by the floods that engulfed the country in October 2022. Baluchistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Southern Punjab, and Sindh have seen thousands of houses destroyed while countless people are fighting for their survival. Millions of wildlife and farming animals have died. Agriculture has been completely wiped off, threatening food security and inflation. Energy supplies and transportation are also badly affected. 

Supply chain disruptions liquidate food rations in remote areas. Because of the lack of clean drinking water, many diseases are spreading rapidly. 

Amid all of this chaos, the state has completely failed to take action to address this disaster.

Official figures put death figures to 1700 with 12, 000 injured and 15 billion USD in infrastructure loss. However, the reality is much worse than this. There are thousands of deaths, with more happening daily due to flood-related diseases and malnutrition.

The river and canal system has proved to be wholly inadequate due to the negligence of the government departing their responsibility of canal and river maintenance for many years. 

During floods, landlords and state ministers in cohorts with corrupt officials were busy saving their private lands by diverting water to canals or drains that could not handle the heavy flows causing further floodings in villages and towns.

Thousands lost their homes, and the state totally failed to provide any makeshift shelters to the affected. Instead, videos of the leaders of mainstream political parties have been circulating on social media seen shamefully distributing a few hundred rupees to flood victims, which are not even sufficient to cover the cost of a daily meal.

In this situation, people initiated self-help groups and activities to help flood affected. These groups also protested against state incompetence. Protests happened in Nowshehru Feroze, 

 Kashmore, Badin, Tando Allahyar, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Juhi and Jhuddo.

The government, rather than addressing the needs of the angry and protesting people, called in forces to suppress them. Numerous police cases were registered against flood affectees during protests when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was visiting Sukkur.

Pakistan Trade Union Solidarity Campaign unconditionally supports all these people protest and condemns state repression. On the one hand, greed for profits has severely disrupted the ecological system, while on the other hand, the oppressive state and its incompetent and brutal rulers are depriving the working class of fundamental rights and necessities. 

The responsibility for this destruction lies solely on the inefficiencies of the state perpetuated by the corrupt rulers and the current capitalist system, which is incapable of providing basic facilities to the working people. 

We stand with the workers and people standing up for their just rights from the state in this emergency flood situation. Profit and greed are responsible for the climate crisis, and this system based on such ills is responsible for the climate crisis.