The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) predicts that Karachi will experience a heat wave on the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Given that Eid is around the corner, the district government of Karachi should take the warnings of Met department seriously. The district government needs to take necessary measures in advance to minimise the effects of the heat wave that is expected to hit the metropolitan. The district authorities need to focus on clusters of vulnerability in the city. According to research studies housing quality and type, population size, low economic stratum are factors that increase heat vulnerability in the provincial capital of Sindh. Eid is an occasion of joy and people will become a little extra carefree. Going carefree against the harshness of the climate will affect them. The local authorities need to issue guidelines to the people to take utmost care while exposing themselves to the adverse conditions of weather on the eve of Eid.

Mercury is not coming down in cities like Dadu, Bahawalnagar, Sibbi, Rahim Yar Khan Larkana, Lahore and Multan. Heat waves hit some of these cities and cause casualties every year. So authorities in these cities also need to take pre-emptive measures to avoid emergencies. It will be better for the local administrations of the cities mentioned before to look up at the “Karachi Heat Wave Management Plan: A Guide to Planning and Response” documented by the office of Commissioner Karachi to deal with the excessive and severe heat waves that have been hitting the metropolis since 2015. The document is an elaborate and detailed plan of countering the harmful effects of climate.

The local authorities in all cities that are vulnerable to the harshness of heat waves need to prevent heat-related illness and deaths of the residents. The district governments in all cities that are prone to be hit by heat waves need to provide the public with timely and specific information before, during and after extreme heat emergencies. And in this regard, the local governments need to establish alert systems that will keep the temperature forecasts by PMD. Also, time is of the essence in the present situation. Knowing the deaths we have witnessed in the previous seasons and the measures that work to counteract it, the government need to be vigilant. All the concerned authorities need to be on their toes, as offices will remain closed till Friday because of Eid break. The Commissioner Offices in all districts need to take responsibility for overseeing the designed plans and taking pre-emptive measures to avoid casualties in the days of Eid-ul-Fitr.