While we talk about the “new” challenges that the megacities of the world are now facing, the ultra-megacity of Karachi in Pakistan stands helpless in front of problems other of the world’s megacities have learnt to cope with.
Karachi – the largest city in Pakistan and the industrial hub of the country – is a threat to its people when the rain comes down. The wonky road infrastructure and the exposed electricity wires strung on poles are a major threat to people. And it doesn’t matter if it drizzles or pours, the roads take just a few minutes to turn into into lakes of filthy water, a mixture of rain and sewage. With no proper drainage system this dirty water stagnates on the roads for days – breeding more problems for a city that is already too big for the government to handle. Schools remain closed while the lack of any proper hygiene in the city causes diseases like malaria, typhoid, and dengue fever to spread like wildfire. And it’s not just Karachi: Lahore – another huge city in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan – is at even greater risk during the monsoon. According to a recent article published on 21st November, 2012 at pakobserver.net, “More than 5000 cases of dengue are reported in Punjab, out of which over 4400 are from Lahore alone.” While the condition in Karachi is much better with just 164 dengue cases this year so far.
The video below shows what conditions are like in Karachi during the monsoon.