My Elders in Pakistan Predicted Calamity. Now It’s Here.
KARACHI, Pakistan — On Aug. 24, I received a frantic call from my mother. She told me that Sabu Buriro, our village on the shore of Lake Hamal in northwest Sindh Province, was underwater after weeks of heavy rains. Just two months earlier, extreme heat had dried the lake. Now, after weeks of monsoon rains, the lake was so full that the dike protecting us from it was about to burst.
After 10 hours of travel from Karachi, where I am a student, I arrived in a village full of panic-stricken relatives and neighbors. A few army trucks came to evacuate some of the women and children while the rest of us did what we could to salvage our dried grains, our livestock, and our homes. After the army trucks left, no more government help appeared. I called comrades from the city, who came with vans; for three frantic days we did what we could to help before the dike broke and floodwaters consumed the village.
My immediate family is among the millions of Pakistanis displaced by this year’s disastrous floods, which were primarily caused by record monsoon rains, made worse by global warming…
This is the introduction to Ibrahim Burro’s powerful Dispatch from the Frontlines, published in the New York Times this week.
In it, the activist Ibrahim writes that his family’s land will still be under water when the world’s leaders gather at COP27 in Egypt next month. He explains the context of the catastrophe: how it is the consequence both of global warming and Pakistan’s own disastrous policies.
We will publish an extended version of Ibrahim’s essay here next month.
Thanks for reading Dispatches from the Frontlines! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.