Living With The Crisis In Balochistan
It was the middle of the night and we were sleeping in our homes in a tiny village across the river in the south of Balochistan. Suddenly we heard a noise: a person shouting and calling out that the river was flooded. “Let’s leave the village, let’s get to a safe place!” He called. Most of the people were not willing to go because they didn’t want to abandon their animals, homes and other things. They thought it wouldn’t get flooded so quickly.
The animals and fields are their only source of income, they would never leave that. The flood was so fast that it didn’t let the people take along anything and grounded the whole village as well as the area around it.
The villagers managed to rescue themselves from the deep water but all the animals, possessions and homes had been destroyed. It was a cold night and people didn’t even have blankets to warm them as they were forced to spend the night under the open sky on the cold ground. They were forced to get to safety by foot because there weren’t any vehicles. This was what my mother told me about the flood which hit and destroyed so many villages including her village in 1998 in Balochistan.
This is the story of my own life when I was around 6-7 years old: It was 2008, when after heavy rains, another flood hit our village at midnight. We couldn’t know if it would be a huge destruction for us. So we had to leave our homes in the middle of night. Almost all the people left the village and went to nearby places to take refuge from the flood. I and my family along with some other neighbours went to another village by a car owned by one of our neighbours. Mother said she and my father were among the few people left there but fortunately they skipped too.
After almost two weeks when we got back, we found our house destroyed by the flood. We were the only ones who lost their home. Many people lost their crop fields among many other things. This is not the only story. There are hundreds of other places in Balochistan that get flooded almost every year and people have to lose their lives, homes and livelihoods.
Extreme heat and droughts are the other main factor for the climate crisis in Balochistan. People are being displaced, animals are dying, rare species are threatened with extinction. This is how the climate change is worsening in Balochistan.
The threat of climate change is a reminder that we should take immediate actions to mitigate the crisis and thereby save millions who are being affected by it. It is going to be an issue for every generation. It is worth noting that we have been affected by the crisis for decades, and no end to suffering is in sight. This is not something to compromise with, this is the real climate Emergency.