The capital of Pakistan, Islamabad has grown leaps and bounds in the last 50 years. An intellectual center in Pakistan, Islamabad is also home to one of the world’s largest universities.
In the summer of 2010, parts of Pakistan were inundated by the most devastating flood in the country’s history, which put more than one-fifth of the country underwater. Brought about by unusually intense rainfall, the flood ravaged northwest Pakistan, killing nearly 2000 people and causing massive damage to roads, railways, homes, schools, health facilities, and much more. In total, nearly 20 million people were affected, with damage estimates exceeding $40 billion.
The 2010 flood is the kind of event that scientists say will become more frequent in our changing climate. It also shows how vulnerable Pakistan’s food system is. For example, the flooding of 2010 led to the loss of crops and livestock and continues to impact planting seasons. On top of that, rising temperatures are causing glaciers at the headwaters of the Indus River to melt, reducing the water supply and increasing the risk of food shortages.
Presented by Asif Iqbal
Growing up in Pakistan, Asif Iqbal was a witness to the deterioration of his homeland due to environmental degradation and a warming climate. He grew up in a remote, mountainous part of the country, and now returns to villages in that region to educate people about climate change. His region, once lush and mountainous, is being rapidly stripped of trees and is facing increases in temperature, flash floods and landslides. Asif is a development professional in Pakistan who works to design advocacy and development projects at a national level. After being trained by Al Gore in July 2009, he started organizing communities and volunteers in Pakistan to work with youth groups and civil society.
To learn more about this presenter, click here.