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Effective steps sought for mitigating heatwave

By Our Correspondent
April 30, 2022

Islamabad : Climate change minister Senator Sherry Rehman has called upon the relevant federal departments and provincial governments to take effective measures to mitigate the current heatwave in the country.

“While the country is grappling with a heatwave, it is imperative for all stakeholders to take necessary actions against it in an effective and timely manner as recommended by the Ministry of Climate Change. For the first time in decades, Pakistan is experiencing what many call a spring-less year," the minister said in a statement.

According to Ms Sherry, South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan, have been hit by record heatwave since early April forcing the people to gasp in whatever shade they find.

The global weather forecasting organisations have forecast that temperatures in Pakistan and India this year could soar up to 49-50 degree Celsius as a direct impact of climate stress. There is also a likelihood of temperatures in Pakistan rising by 6-8 degree Celsius above average.

According to the Meteorological Department, the last month (March) was the hottest month on record since 1961. Also, rainfall in this season was 62% less than what was recorded in the previous years. The heatwave came at an especially gruelling time during the holy month of Ramazan. Urban residents with tin or asbestos roofs have suffered the most.

"The outcome of unusually high temperature and insufficient rainfall is harmful for agriculture output and public health."

The minister noted that the frequent and intense droughts, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans were impending challenges posed by climate change.

She added that those issues directly harmed animals and destroyed their habitats, and wreaked havoc on the people's lives and livelihoods.

"The local media has reported that early heatwaves are leading to fires on farms just as the winter wheat crop is ready to be harvested.

The increased evaporation from reservoirs is a cause of concern for authorities especially as the country grapples with severe water scarcity.

However, adaptation measures are key to boost climate resilience of the people, ecosystems and economies.