PAKISTAN has been included in the list of top 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change impacts. The effects of climate change were seen in the form of recent unprecedented devastating rainfall and the resulting floods and damages.
Thousands of people have been killed, while crops, homes and infrastructure have been devastated along with small dams in Balochistan worth more than billions of dollars. We also do not know when another wave of such floods will hit us again.
But we know the possibilities of accelerated melting of glaciers and frequent heatwaves as a result of rising global temperatures.
In the wake of global warming, heatwaves, heavy rains, glacial melting, glacial lake outburst flows, there are possibilities of reoccurrence of such natural calamities.
Therefore, the governments and other donor agencies need to consider building infrastructure, including school buildings, which may bear such high floods and may provide shelter to the local residents.
If possible, the school buildings need to be at least two-storey structures with no rooms on the ground floor.
The height of the second floor needs to be at least 10 feet above the ground to allow floodwater to flow beneath it without causing any damages while the residents may stay in such school buildings on the second floor during floods.
If possible, the roof of third floor can be built using solar panels to provide extra space as well as necessary power supplies for meeting the basic needs, such as clean water and cooking facilities.
At least two schools, one for boys and one for girls, in every village can be built with such a design for providing shelter homes to the local residents during floods. Some other people in the village, who may afford, can also follow similar design for building their homes, especially in the flood-affected areas.
Dr Allah Bakhsh
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022