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SUMMARY of the Article “Hot spells,” Dawn Editorial, May 26th, 2024


The article addresses the severe heatwave affecting Pakistan, particularly 26 districts since May 21, and warns of two additional waves in June. The current heatwave is expected to last until May 30, with temperatures rising 5°C to 6°C above normal. The subsequent heatwaves are predicted to occur from June 7-8 and again in the last week of June. This increase in frequency and intensity of heatwaves is attributed to unsustainable environmental practices, which also accelerate glacier melting and increase the risk of forest fires. In response, the government has implemented several measures, including disseminating comprehensive guidelines, issuing early warnings, and conducting public awareness campaigns to educate people on health risks and precautions. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is coordinating with provincial departments for timely responses to natural disasters. The editorial emphasizes that while these efforts are commendable, more actions are needed. Expanding green cover through aggressive reforestation, enhancing urban infrastructure to withstand extreme heat, ensuring continuous water and electricity supply, and improving disaster management capabilities are crucial. Promoting the NDMA’s mobile application for real-time alerts, establishing cooling centers, and enhancing healthcare facilities to treat heat-induced ailments are also essential. Specific attention should be given to outdoor workers, providing them with water breaks and summer-friendly working hours. Community-level actions, such as avoiding unnecessary outdoor activities during peak heat hours, staying hydrated, and preventing forest fires, are also vital. Vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly, and those with health conditions, require special care. Collaborative efforts, including tree planting and care, can help mitigate the impact of extreme weather events.

Easy/Short SUMMARY:

The article talks about the severe heatwave affecting Pakistan, with high temperatures hitting 26 districts since May 21. More heatwaves are expected in June, making the situation worse. The government is taking steps to protect people, like sharing safety guidelines and working with provincial departments for quick responses. They also emphasize planting more trees and improving city infrastructure to handle the heat. People are advised to stay indoors during peak heat hours, stay hydrated, and look out for vulnerable groups like children and the elderly. Communities should work together to plant trees and prevent forest fires.

SOLUTIONS of The Problem:

Expanding Green Cover

Implement aggressive reforestation projects to increase the number of trees, which can help cool the environment and absorb carbon dioxide.

Enhancing Urban Infrastructure

Upgrade urban infrastructure to withstand extreme heat, including better cooling systems in public buildings and more shaded areas in cities.

Ensuring Uninterrupted Water and Electricity Supply

Guarantee continuous water and electricity supply during peak heat periods to help people stay hydrated and cool.

Improving Disaster Management

Enhance disaster management capabilities by developing and promoting the NDMA’s mobile application for real-time alerts and advisories.

Establishing Cooling Centers

Set up more cooling centers in urban and rural areas to provide relief during extreme heat waves.

Enhancing Healthcare Facilities

Improve healthcare facilities to treat heat-induced ailments quickly and efficiently.

Protecting Outdoor Workers

Implement policies that provide outdoor workers with regular water breaks, access to shade, and summer-friendly working hours to reduce heat stress.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Conduct extensive public awareness campaigns to educate people about the risks of heatwaves and how to protect themselves.

Community-Level Actions

Encourage communities to avoid outdoor activities during peak heat hours, stay hydrated, wear loose clothing, and keep homes cool.

Preventing Forest Fires

Promote community efforts to prevent forest fires by avoiding the disposal of flammable materials in open areas and participating in tree planting initiatives.

IMPORTANT Facts and Figures Given in the Article:

  • A heatwave has affected 26 districts in Pakistan since May 21.
  • The current heatwave will last until May 30, with temperatures rising 5°C to 6°C above normal.
  • Two more heatwaves are expected in June: one from June 7-8 and another in the last week of June.
  • Unsustainable environmental practices contribute to the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves.
  • The government has disseminated comprehensive guidelines and early warnings to prevent casualties.
  • The NDMA is coordinating with provincial departments for timely disaster responses.

MCQs from the Article:

1. Since when has the heatwave affected 26 districts in Pakistan?

A. May 1
B. May 15
C. May 21
D. June 1

2. What are the expected temperature rises above normal during the heatwave?

A. 3°C to 4°C
B. 5°C to 6°C
C. 7°C to 8°C
D. 2°C to 3°C

3. When are the two additional heatwaves predicted to occur in June?

A. June 1-2 and June 10-11
B. June 7-8 and the last week of June
C. June 15-16 and June 20-21
D. June 5-6 and June 25-26

4. What environmental issue is accelerated by the harsh conditions of the heatwave?

A. Deforestation
B. Soil erosion
C. Glacier melt
D. Desertification

5. Which organization is coordinating with provincial departments for timely responses to natural disasters?

A. Pakistan Meteorological Department
B. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
C. Ministry of Health
D. Environmental Protection Agency

VOCABULARY:

  1. Heatwave (noun) (گرمی کی لہر): A prolonged period of excessively hot weather.
  2. Unsustainable (adjective) (غیر مستحکم): Not able to be maintained at the current rate or level.
  3. Disseminated (verb) (پھیلانا): Spread or disperse widely.
  4. Catastrophic (adjective) (تباہ کن): Involving or causing sudden great damage or suffering.
  5. Comprehensive (adjective) (جامع): Complete and including everything that is necessary.
  6. Mitigating (verb) (کمی کرنا): Making less severe, serious, or painful.
  7. Reforestation (noun) (دوبارہ جنگل لگانا): The process of replanting an area with trees.
  8. Infrastructure (noun) (انفراسٹرکچر): The basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise.
  9. Uninterrupted (adjective) (بلا تعطل): Not broken, continuous.
  10. Disaster Management (noun) (آفت انتظام): The organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies.
  11. Toil (verb) (محنت کرنا): Work extremely hard or incessantly.
  12. Hydrated (adjective) (نمی برقرار): Having absorbed enough water or other liquid.
  13. Flammable (adjective) (جلنے والا): Easily set on fire.
  14. Advisories (noun) (مشورے): Official notifications or warnings.
  15. Collaborative (adjective) (اشتراکی): Produced or conducted by two or more parties working together.
  16. Vulnerable (adjective) (کمزور): Exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
  17. Precautions (noun) (احتیاطی تدابیر): Measures taken in advance to prevent something dangerous, unpleasant, or inconvenient from happening.
  18. Accelerate (verb) (تیز کرنا): Increase in rate, amount, or extent.
  19. Glacier (noun) (گلیشیر): A slowly moving mass or river of ice formed by the accumulation and compaction of snow on mountains or near the poles.
  20. Casualties (noun) (جانی نقصان): Persons killed or injured in a war or accident.

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dawn.com
Hot spells
Editorial


WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate change ministry is that this is merely the beginning. This wave, set to last until May 30, will be followed by two more in June, intensifying an already dire situation. Temperatures are expected to soar 5°C to 6°C above normal, with the second heatwave occurring from June 7-8 and the third in the last week of the month. Unsustainable environmental practices have contributed to the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves. These harsh conditions not only threaten human lives, they also accelerate glacier melt and heighten the risk of forest fires. The government, recognising the gravity of the situation, has taken several measures. Comprehensive guidelines and early warnings have been disseminated, aiming to prevent casualties similar to the catastrophic 2015 heatwave. Public awareness drives are ongoing to educate people about health risks and necessary precautions. Additionally, the NDMA is coordinating with provincial departments to ensure timely responses to natural disasters.

These efforts, while commendable, must be bolstered. The authorities must prioritise expanding green cover through aggressive reforestation, crucial for mitigating the long-term impact of climate change. Boosting urban infrastructure to better withstand extreme heat and ensuring uninterrupted water and electricity supply during peak heat periods are imperative. There is also an urgent need to enhance disaster management capabilities. Developing and promoting the NDMA’s mobile application for real-time alerts and advisories can significantly improve public preparedness. Establishing more cooling centres and enhancing healthcare facilities to treat heat-induced ailments should be expedited. Workers who toil under the open sky must be given due consideration, with water breaks and summer-friendly timings. At the community level, people should avoid unnecessary outdoor activities, especially during peak heat hours. Vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and those with health conditions need special attention. Simple measures, such as staying hydrated, wearing loose clothing, and keeping homes cool, can prevent heat-related illnesses. Communities should also play a role in preventing forest fires by avoiding the disposal of flammable materials in open areas. Additionally, joint efforts to plant and care for trees can help reduce temperatures. With a collaborative approach, we can mitigate the impact of these extreme weather events.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2024

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