More than one billion people are facing a relentless heatwave in India with every year that passes.
Temperatures are regularly starting to reach 120ºF (49ºC) during the heatwave seasons in certain parts. Late spring typically brings the hottest days of the year to India, before the cooling monsoon rains arrive in June. But in 2022 it has been much hotter than average since early March as a result of climate change, imperiling millions of people and scorching crops the world is relying on.
Well-off people will have air conditioners in their homes and offices, but millions of others suffer from no means to cool their properties.
Low-income areas communities have fewer adaptation options since they often lack control over their home and work environments, with limited access to, and inability to afford, reliable electricity and cooling. Low-income area residents also have higher exposure to extreme heat because they live in homes constructed of heat-trapping materials with tin or tarp roofs, and their communities lack trees and shade.
Nearly 25 percent of Ahmedabad’s residents live in slum communities. The nearly two million Ahmedabad residents living in low-income areas have few options available to adapt to rising temperatures. This increases their vulnerability to heat and results in greater adverse impacts of extreme heat.
Living in Heat
Meenaben dreads the onset of summer every year. Her small two-room home in a slum in Ahmedabad gets so hot that she cannot sit indoors for several hours during the day, even with a ceiling fan running. Millions in India suffer in these conditions.
Mahila Housing Trust
MEER will partner with Mahila Housing Trust to bring solar reflectors to some of the most deprived parts of the city.
The trust is a non-profit that is teaching women to be more resilient in 100 slums in five cities.
Their focus is on upgrading and redeveloping slums and helping women secure property rights. "This intervention from MEER could be useful in Ahmedabad's severe heat. It can also help make the community resilient to climate change," says Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director of the Trust.