Both Agra and Indore, where the UHRC’s program is active, face severely high temperatures in the summer. In the peak of north India’s unforgiving summer, both cities see temperatures touching 48 degree celsius with several heat waves in a season.
Due to climate change, the temperatures are going to soar even higher in the near future. It is also likely that the duration and number of heat waves in a season will increase. Night temperatures could remain as high as 30 degrees celsius. The monsoon rainfall which provides some respite in the months of July, August and September is likely to change too; become more erratic and with reduced rainfall overall.
Climate change poses a serious challenge to much of India’s population in the near future and the worst of the consequences will have to be borne by the underprivileged. Those living in slums with no air conditioning and working in brick kilns and factories often with no fan and poor ventilation face severe health risks. In addition, their productivity is bound to reduce and thus their income generation capacity.
The UHRC is working actively with the slum communities in Indore and Agra to assess and understand the risks and challenges that global warming will pose to the communities. We attempt to understand the current coping mechanisms being adopted and how they can be modified in the future to better enable the communities to bear climate extremes.
UHRC promotes adaptive practices in encouraging communities to build water tanks, haudis (underground water storage) and general steps to save water. UHRC supports the community in negotiation incrementally improved water supply in the bastis.