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25 June 2024

Heatwave returns to Jashore, leaving workers struggling

Billal Hossain, Jashore

Published: 09:34, 19 May 2024

Heatwave returns to Jashore, leaving workers struggling

Photo: Messenger

After a brief respite following a storm, Jashore is once again grappling with extreme heat. The relentless sun is taking a toll on residents, particularly those working outdoors. The Bangladesh Meteorological Department reported that Jashore recorded a maximum temperature of 38.4 degrees Celsius on Friday.

Farmer Babu, laboring in the Chandutia field of Jashore Sadar Upazila around 12:30 PM on Friday, struggled with the scorching heat. Exhausted, he paused to drink water from a deep tubewell and rest under a tree, expressing his inability to continue working under such oppressive conditions. This sentiment is echoed by many in the region, with farmers and daily laborers bearing the brunt of the extreme weather.

The Meteorological Office's data indicates a sharp rise in temperatures in Jashore. On May 17, the district recorded a high of 38.4 degrees Celsius, while the country’s highest temperature that day was 39.6 degrees Celsius in Chuadanga. The high humidity levels exacerbated the discomfort, significantly affecting daily life.

Farmer Shafiqul Islam described the sun as "falling like fire," making it nearly impossible to harvest paddy. He recounted how he and three others managed to harvest only one bigha of paddy by 12:30 PM. Farmer Shamsur Rahman shared his reluctance to go to the fields in the morning but was compelled by necessity, describing the village as being scorched by the intense heat, causing shortness of breath and extreme discomfort.

The heatwave, which began on March 31, has been particularly severe this year. Jashore recorded the country’s highest temperature in decades, reaching 42.6 degrees Celsius on April 20 and an unprecedented 43.8 degrees Celsius on May 30, the highest in the last 52 years. The first rain in Jashore on May 6 brought temporary relief, but the oppressive heat has since returned.

Low-income residents are suffering the most, with many falling ill due to the extreme temperatures. The intense heat is keeping people indoors, with day laborers and rickshaw drivers seeking refuge in shady areas, unable to work.

As Jashore battles the ongoing heatwave, the community remains resilient, hoping for relief from the sweltering conditions that have once again gripped the region.