2015 proved to be a distressingly unfortunate year for Karachiites who witnessed an unbearable heatwave and its harrowing aftermaths. With the demise of at least 2,000 people on their hands within the month of June only, the Sindh government officials were at a loss, having no clue how to combat the sudden increment in temperature. The mercury hit 45°C in the coastal city of Karachi and numerous people belonging to different age groups died due to dehydration and heat strokes.

It was the holy month of Ramadan and despite the constant burning heat, people continued to fast, refusing to let the blazing sun lure them away from this religious obligation. Although it is highly commendable, at one point, many religious clerics gave the fatwa to immediately cease the fast in case of dizziness or disorientation.

As per the forecast by Meteorological office, the heatwave is due to hit Karachi again in 2016 with its full intensity, in the months of May and June. Once more, Karachiites will have to endure a challenging Ramadan.

Many of the people have to work amid the boiling heat during the peak hours of the sun as per their job requirements. For them, it is extremely essential to take necessary precautions beforehand to avoid any irreversible and deadly emergencies.

The most important trick to continue with the fasting is to ensure that you stay fully hydrated in the scorching heat. During Ramadan, avoid drinking juices when you break your fast, according to the renowned Muslim dietitian Nour El-Zibdeh. She says they are the main cause of weight gain and provide only temporary hydration. Instead, she urges to drink lots of water. At the time of seher and fast-break, she advises Muslims to consume at least two water glasses of 8-ounce along with a few dates. When you got to sleep, keep a water bottle by your bed, so you sip water throughout the night.

Consumption of fruits and vegetables is strictly advised due to a rich amount of fiber and water content. Prepare the traditional fruit-chaat and delicious salads with foods that are succulent and juicy, such as cucumbers, radishes, lettuce leaves, tomatoes, green bell peppers, cauliflower, watermelon etc. They are not only rich in water, but packed with immensely beneficial vitamins and nutrients, enough to meet the daily body requirement. Also, consume dishes which are made using yogurt, like dahi baray, dahi-bhallay, raitas and lassi, the ultimate classics.

According to Nestle-Family, avoid eating highly spicy and hot cuisines as they contribute to thirst increase. Also, salty foods like fishes and pickles play a vital role in increasing the need of water for the body. Reduce the amount of salt addition in your foods during Ramadan.

Drinking tea and coffee during seher is also heavily discouraged as they escalate excretion of salt through urine, as advised by Usman Mahmood, Imaam of Birmingham Central Mosque.

If you are travelling on the streets often, wear loose clothes and avoid wearing tight fitted apparels. The use of coats and dark colored clothes should be avoided as they trap heat. Carry an umbrella or wear a cap whilst you are on the road.  

Try not to over-exert yourself during the hours when the sun is blazing at its peak, usually from 10a.m. to 3p.m. Take regular breaks from your tough routines. Stay in a well-ventilated area and make use of air-conditioners and fans as often as possible. If you are working at home, open the windows and balconies for air crossing. Try to take baths whenever you have time to cool off your body.

Staying hydrated during Ramadan is not a daunting challenge. Just ensure that you and your family are eating the best nutritious diet and are taking all possible steps to combat the agonizing heatwave and its disastrous effects.