from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – A HEATWAVE forecast until the weekend in Malawi is the latest climate crisis setback to batter one of the world’s poorest countries.
The heatwave is projected to persist across much of the Southern African country until Saturday.
Maximum temperatures are to reach a maximum of 44°C (111 F), particularly the Shire Valley region.
Malawi’s Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services (DCCMS) has issued the heatwave warning.
“Possible thunderstorms and rain showers (are forecast) in Malawi from Sunday, offering relief from the heat,” DCCMS projected.
At the same time, the high temperatures may result in drought conditions in the landlocked country of 21 million people.
The climate crisis is already triggering more erratic and extreme weather, resulting in chronic water, food, and financial insecurity for millions.
More than 1 200 people were killed and 1 700 injured when Cyclone Freddy struck early in 2023.
Over the past 20 years, droughts and floods have increased in intensity, frequency, and scale, causing devastating environmental, social and economic damage.
Ninety-percent of people in Malawi depend on rain-fed agriculture, and over 500 000 are food insecure.
DCCMS has advised people to avoid intense activities during the hottest part of the day, to wear light, loose-fitting clothing, to use sun cream and to stay hydrated during the heatwave.
Heatwaves pose a health threat to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory illnesses.
– CAJ News