Pakistan to face three heatwave spells in May and June

Pakistan to face three heatwave spells in May and June

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has issued a heatwave alert for most parts of the country, especially for Punjab and Sindh provinces.

“It is forecasted that heatwave conditions are likely to develop over most parts of the country, especially Punjab and Sindh from May 21 and likely to advance into severe heatwave conditions from May 23 to May 27,” announced NDMA on Thursday.

The forecast delineates three separate heat wave spells. The initial spell is expected to persist for two to three days, followed by a subsequent spell lasting four to five days towards the end of May. Temperatures are anticipated to further escalate up to 45 degrees Celsius in June. The NDMA spokesperson has cautioned about the likelihood of a third heatwave spell in the initial ten days of the month, which could last for 3 to 5 days.

The NDMA underscores that heat waves will impact both human and animal populations, necessitating proactive measures before the onset of the anticipated heatwaves nationwide.

During the second heatwave, which is anticipated to persist for four to five days, the impact is expected to be felt particularly in Tharparkar, Umerkot, Sanghar, Badin, and Khairpur districts of Sindh.

Reflecting on past experiences, Pakistan encountered its worst heatwave in 2022, as highlighted in the 2022 report by Amnesty International. The report underscores the lethal repercussions of extreme heat, especially for more vulnerable communities and populations such as children, the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and those with chronic diseases.

Heatwaves exacerbate health conditions, leading to heat strokes, cramps, and aggravating pre-existing health issues such as diabetes, ultimately culminating in fatalities or accelerated deterioration of health.

Warnings have been issued by the provincial and district governments in Sindh, Punjab and KPK provinces of extreme weather in coming days and have advised people to take precautionary measures such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding direct exposure to the sun. The government is seeking assistance from humanitarian organisations in establishing heatwave camps/centres where affected people may find shelter and cold water, as well as receive basic first-aid treatment.

Community World Service Asia’s Response:

Community World Service Asia (CWSA), in partnership with district authorities, plans to establish four heatwave centres or camps in Umerkot district. These include one central site in Umerkot city and three additional camps near health facilities already supported via CWSA projects: Government dispensary Ramsar, Government Dispensary Jhamrari, and Government Dispensary Cheelband. These camps aim to offer basic services such as first aid, shelter, seating, clean drinking water, and juices to vulnerable individuals in the area, including pedestrians exposed to the sun and at risk of dehydration. With the expected rise in heatwave occurrences, CWSA will plan to expand its efforts to provide similar assistance, as well as first-aid treatment and public awareness campaigns in areas where it maintains operational presence.

Shama Mall
Deputy Regional Director
Programs & Organisational Development
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

Palwashay Arbab
Head of Communication
Tele: 92-21-34390541-4

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