Ahmedabad launches heat action plan

Ahmedabad, April 16 (IANS) Ahmedabad Tuesday launched the first-of-its-kind heat action plan to create a comprehensive early warning system and preparedness plan for extreme heat events fuelled by climate change.

Created by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in partnership with an international coalition of health and academic groups, it will help in reducing the impact of extreme heat by initiating an early warning system for residents.

It will also provide preparation training to medical and community workers, building public awareness of the heat-related risks, and coordinating inter-agency emergency response efforts when heat waves hit.

“Our first priority is the people of Ahmedabad, and they need to be protected from the impacts of climate change,” said AMC Commissioner Guruprasad Mohapatra.

“Our plan provides the roadmap we need to save lives when the next dangerous heat wave hits,” he said.

Ahmedabad’s efforts to better prepare for future extreme heat events are, in part, a response to the deadly heat wave in May 2010 when temperatures spiked at 46.8 degrees Celsius and hundreds of people died.

“Unbearable temperatures are already having a deadly impact in Ahmedabad, and it’s only going to get worse due to climate change,” said Anjali Jaiswal, director of the Natural Resources Defence Council.

The plan describes both immediate and long-term actions to increase preparedness, information-sharing, and response coordination to reduce the health effects of heat on vulnerable populations.

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