Pakistan last year experienced unprecedented floods. More than 33 million people were directly affected, with a staggering 20.6 million requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. The consequences were dire – nearly eight million people were displaced and at least two million houses destroyed.
Although the water has receded, a year later, the scars of the catastrophe remain fresh.
At least 1.5 million people are still displaced. Basic necessities, such as food and shelter, continue to be out of reach for a large portion of the flood-affected population, with more than 40 percent of them relying on humanitarian aid for survival.
While the immediate concerns of food, shelter and water have been largely addressed, climate anxiety among the flood-affected communities across Pakistan has failed to make headlines.
Although climate anxiety is a newly coined term, it reflects a distress that has long been felt by these communities.
Amid the increasing threat of climate change, floods in Pakistan have grown more frequent, resulting in some communities facing an unending cycle of displacement and despair. For these communities, the fatigue caused by climate-induced disasters has begun to take its toll. They are not only exhausted but also more anxious than ever about the potential threat of cascading disasters.
Residents in these flood-affected areas are living in fear of an uncertain future. They grapple with the harsh reality that they lack the necessary preparations to face another flood, and they have no clear plans for shelter should their already fragile homes become uninhabitable.
Despite contributing very little to the global climate crisis, Pakistan remains one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. And climate anxiety will likely continue to rise in the country, especially among the most vulnerable populations.