Climate change is sadly affecting both our physical and mental health. Climate change-induced flooding, for example, is having a monumental impact on communities here at home, as well as overseas.
A recent report by the Climate Coalition looks at the impact of climate change on health here in the UK. It has revealed that flooding is a key threat with around 1.8 million people in the UK living in areas at significant risk of flooding.
We all know about the devastating effect flooding can have on the places we call home and the surrounding environment. Homes submerged, cars swept away, cattle drowned. But flooding can also have an effect on our mental health.
In fact, 1 in 3 people have reported suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after having their house flooded in the UK.
In many developing countries however, the further effects on one’s physical health can be deadly.
This, in large part, is dependent on the countries’ social infrastructure. For example, in many poor countries, flooding can lead to sewage, food and water systems becoming comprised, leading to water and food contamination, and resulting in diarrheal diseases, cholera and E.coli among others.
Moreover, the water left behind from floods can attract arthropods which can lead to the spread of vector-borne pathogens such as mosquitos and ticks, which spread diseases like malaria and dengue fever.
Flooding is sadly a grave concern within some of the countries that Islamic Relief works.
For instance in 2019, due to flooding, Bangladesh experienced its deadliest outbreak of dengue fever with more than 101,000 cases and almost 180 deaths.
And then in 2020, Bangladesh saw the most prolonged monsoon flooding in decades, with one third of the country estimated to have been underwater in July. This resulted in nearly 5,000 people contracting diarrhoea.
Rising temperatures and rising pressures: The human impact