The impacts of climate change and El Niño are already being felt in Pakistan, including through drought, flooding and heatwaves. During a heatwave last year in the Sindh province, the average daily temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This intense heatwave caused a reported 2,000 deaths; that number is likely significantly higher when remote areas are taken into account. Most of these deaths occurred because of heat stroke.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department has forecasted another heat wave for Sindh province this year. This poses a serious threat to vulnerable people in poverty-stricken areas who face limited electricity and water and high exposure to sun and open air through work in fields and open markets.
During the heatwave last year, at-risk communities did not have information about the hazards of heat stroke or how to prevent it. Limited access to and consumption of drinking water aggravated its impact. If timely and adequate preventative and informational efforts are made now, they will help to reduce the impact of a heatwave this year. The provincial government has already announced its intention to set up heat stroke rehabilitation centers, but they lack the capacity to respond to the needs of all at-risk communities, particularly in rural areas.
Our partner Community World Service Asia (formerly Church World Service Pakistan) has identified six districts in Sindh Province to focus efforts on. These are Dadu, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Karachi, Thatta and Umarkot.
The response plan has two main components. The first is educational, aimed at spreading information about heat stroke. This will include banners, posters, stickers, radio messaging, text messaging and social media campaigns to increase awareness about the symptoms and hazards of heat stroke. These will be in local languages and contain contact information for treatment centers.
The other main component of the response is the treatment of heat stroke. This involves setting up and procuring supplies for treatment centers. Emergency health centers will be established in each district, including ambulance service for critical patients. Medicine will be available free of cost to heat stroke patients.
A total of four million people are expected to benefit from the awareness campaign, and 60,000 people are expected to benefit from the treatment centers.
Awareness campaign: $6,206
Travel and transport: $39,528
Field operating expenses: $9,242
HOW TO HELP (send contributions directly to Community World Service account – info below. Do not sent via Church World Service-US)
This is an appeal from our partner Community World Service Asia (formerly CWS Pakistan). Please send your donation directly to their bank account.The bank account information to financially support the appeal is account number 563653 at JS Bank limited. The IBAN No. is PK23JSBL9001000000563653. SWIFT Code is: JSBLPKKA Please credit to Community World Service Asia attention of Marvin Parvez. Bank address: Shaheen Commercial Complex, Dr. Ziauddin Ahmed Road, Karachi, Pakistan.
CWS and Community World Service Asia are members of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.