Heat wave sweeps Khulna, rainfall decreasing alarmingly

Severe hot weather, compound by frequent power outages, has made the lives of the Khulna people unbearable.  There has been no rain in Khulna in the last few days. 

The rivers, ponds, canals, the open wetlands and others water reservoirs in Khulna have virtually gone waterless this time. As a result, the level of the ground water has gone deeper. 

The worst sufferers of the scorching heat are lower income group people including rickshaw-van pullers, construction workers, masons and street vendors. Due to the electricity crisis, people staying indoors suffer a lot as they cannot operate their electric fans.

Md Amirul Azad, Deputy Director of Khulna Met office, said they recorded the highest temperature 37.2 degrees Celsius on Sunday while the temperature was 37.2 degrees on Saturday  and the situation might continue till the next rainfall. 

Md Amirul Azad told the ‘Bangladesh Post’ that the amount of rainfall in the Khulna region was going down. He said the total rainfall in Khulna was 2,137 milimetres in 2006 and 2,130 milimetres in 2007. The total rainfall reduced to 1,595 milimetres in 2008 while the region experienced the record low rainfall of 1,358 milimetres in 2010, 1,948 milimetres in 2011, 1,646 milimetres in 2012, 2,070 milimetres in 2013, 1,461milimetres in 2014 and 2337 milimetres in 2015, 2,221 milimetres in 2016, 2,283 milimetres in 2017 and record low rainfall 1,050 milimetres in 2018. 

Dr ATM Monzur Morshed, Superintendent of Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH), said due to hot spell, thousands of people are suffering from heat-wave related ailments like dehydration, diarrhoea, chicken-pox, measles, jaundice, vomiting etc. Cases of skin rash, eruption, headache, and eye ache and skin burn have also marked rise in the city and district. The condition is worse for the old-age ones and children. 

Dr ASM Abdur Razzak, Civil Surgeon of Khulna district has advised people to avoid sunlight, particularly during the midday time, take sufficient water and oral saline to protect them from dehydration, avoid taking fast food and maintain cleanliness as far as possible.

Mahfuzur Rahman Mukul, Khulna divisional unit convener of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) said the adverse effects of climate change and filling up of the water bodies were responsible for the reduction in the rainfall and rise in temperature in the region. 

Director of Department of Environment (DoE), Khulna division Habibul Haque Khan blamed massive logging and loss of navigability of the coastal rivers in the region as main causes of loss of rain fall. He said the amount of rain has decreased alarmingly in the region during the last three decades resulting a dangerous impact of warming in the coastal districts. 

Palash Kanti Bala, Chief Executive Officer of Khulna City Corporation said, the number of water bodies in the city has reduced significantly over the years. Most of the shallow tube-wells are now failing to pump out necessary waters resulting in an adverse impact on the pisciculture, agriculture, forestry and other sectors also.