Pakistani Woman Wins Inaugural Young Climate Prize for Addressing Flooding Crisis in Urban Areas

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Pakistani woman Namra Khalid has been named the winner of the inaugural Young Climate Prize by non-profit organization, the World Around. Khalid was recognized in the “visionary” category for her work in establishing Karachi Cartography, a project aimed at creating a climate map of the city to address the flooding crisis in urban areas. The 25-year-old returned to the southern port city after completing her architectural design degree in the United States in 2020 and was compelled to take action after abnormal rains and severe heatwaves killed hundreds of people in the city.

Khalid received the award at the Guggenheim Museum in New York on Saturday, April 22. She took to her Instagram to express her gratitude for the support of her collaborators, friends and family. The World Around said in a press release that Khalid was awarded the visionary prize for her project addressing the flooding crisis in Pakistan. Collaborating with Dutch special envoy for International Water Affairs Henk Ovink, Khalid created a map of Karachi that demonstrates the areas of the city susceptible to climate events.

Karachi Cartography, Khalid’s website, warns that the city is projected to be submerged underwater by 2060, and there is so far no plan to deal with the potential catastrophe. “The infrastructural mayhem is only increasing vulnerabilities,” it said. “We, at Karachi Cartography, strongly believe that planning and redesigning without a comprehensive understanding of past, present, and potential precarity will only exacerbate dysfunctionality and increase vulnerabilities.”

The Young Climate Prize recognizes individuals under the age of 30 who have demonstrated exceptional innovation, leadership, and contribution to the fight against climate change. The prize is divided into three categories: visionary, tech innovation, and climate adaptation. Khalid’s work in creating a climate map of Karachi is a significant step towards mitigating the flooding crisis in the city and protecting its inhabitants from the effects of climate change.

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