Heatwave and load-shedding

May 5, 2018

On Monday, 30 April, the temperature in Nawabshah exceeded to the highest that ever measured on the planet during the month of April. The temperature recorded was 50.2 Celsius in the city of Nawabshah, which is situated in Sindh province.

Etienne Kapikian, a meteorologist at Meteo France, tweeted about the extreme temperature saying that the previous best for Pakistan has been the 50 Celsius recorded in Larkana on 19 April, 2017. The tweet also states that it was the warmest April temperature ever recorded in the entire Asian continent. Director General of Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) Dr. Ghulam Rasool confirmed that the temperature recorded in Nawabshah was the highest ever recorded in the month of April in Pakistan on Monday, April 30. A weather model analysis over southern Pakistan showed the rise in temperature to 25 degrees warmer than normal on the day.

It is the first week of May and mercury is expected to rise in coming months and metrological offices have warned for a heatwave in Karachi and other cities of Sindh province. Scorching heat and electricity breakdowns made it difficult for the people to deal with the situation as temperatures hovered in the mid-40s already. Considering the warnings, concerned authorities should prepare itself to deal with a similar emergency situation as experts have forecast another hot summer for the country.

Government should launch an awareness campaign for the people regarding safety measures during the heatwave. Administration should set up first response centers and other relief facilities for masses during extreme hot weather. These points would provide immediate help to the victims. A public information campaign should be launched to advice citizens on what to do in case of heatstroke, where to call for help and how to locate the nearest response centre.

Government should also fulfill its pledge of eradicating the load-shedding. Incumbent government had promised during the general elections of 2013 to eliminate darkness from the country by bridging the gap of supply and demand of electricity, but now the government is just a couple of month away from completing its five-year tenure, but sadly still many areas of the country are facing 12 hours of power outrages.

Holly month of Ramazan is just around the corner and authorities must address the issue of load-shedding. It is also saddening to witness that dealing with a very issue of climate change is not on the priority list of federal and provincial governments.