Urban Flooding

On 6 July 2023, in its Flood Management Conference, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) gave a wake-up call to the key stakeholders regarding the risk of urban flooding in all major cities of Pakistan. This monsoon season, Lahore has already witnessed one of its worst urban floods, causing economic and infrastructural damage. Karachi, Islamabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Quetta are in the queue to be hit by urban floods if precautionary measures are not taken promptly. According to the World Bank, in 2022, Pakistan lost $30 billion to monsoon floods causing a dent in its economy. This time, the stakes are high and the fiscal loss is expected to be bigger due to high infrastructure development and maintenance costs in cities. Currently, Pakistan is only following ‘real-time flood forecasting’ as a strategy to mitigate urban flooding. It will decrease the fiscal and humanitarian loss but it will not uproot the annual problem of urban flooding.