Bad infrastructure is far more dangerous than terrorism

In the early hours of the morning on August 11, Karachi hit a new milestone – a complete city wide breakdown of everything – electricity, government, roads, transport and everything else which makes up a living, breathing city.

The culprit? Not another terrorist attack by Al-Queda, or yet another sucide bomb attack, but rain. To be precise, 6 inches of rain. Karachi has no infrastructure, basically what we call roads here are bits of asphalt and tar thrown onto semi-levelled dirt. At the first sign of water they disintegrate, and many of the main roads have already started melting away in the rain. The ones which haven’t have 1 to 4 feet of water, as I painfully found out a few hours ago.

The internet is about to go next, and tomorrow the city will wake up to shambles, awash in it’s own sewage and the stench of garbage everywhere. Schools were shut on the 10th and about half ofthe city’s industry, and on the 11th everything will be shut. Even the govt. hospitals are getting flooded, and in a city with no drinking water even on the best of days, the next 3 days a lot of people will either go thirsty or suffer gastroenteritis.

Exactly the same thing happened last year with the rains, but we only had 3 inches than. The City Government of Karachi has jurisdiction over only 30% of the city, but it can’t even cope in that part.

Hell comes in many forms, and in the many slums which don’t exist officially, it comes in the form of rotting garbage swimming in 2 feet of sewage.

Over in America too, some people are also waking up to the realization that fixing their own crumbling infrastructure is more important than bombing other countrys around the world. Perhaps when they start rebuilding instead of bombing, Pakistan’s dictators (and other bumbling leaders) can stop buying F-16’s and buy some sewage pumps instead.

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