High temperatures and humidity have made the weather in Dhaka city dangerous. Because of this, the productivity of the people of Dhaka is decreasing. Economic losses are increasing.
Dhaka is losing about $6 billion in labor productivity annually due to high-temperature humidity, which is more than 8 percent of Dhaka’s annual labor output.
Recently, this information has emerged in a report of the US-based Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center. The report titled ‘Hot Cities, Chilled Economies: Impacts of Extreme Heat on Global Cities’ assesses the social and economic impact of extreme heat in 12 cities around the world, including Dhaka. According to the report, the labor productivity of the people of Dhaka is affected more than in any other city due to heat waves. This loss could rise to 10 percent by 2050 if no action is taken to reduce temperatures.
Ashraf Dewan, professor of the School of Earth and Planetary Sciences of Curtin University, Australia, told Prothom Alo, “In our multiple reports, the picture of the expansion of the Taptabwip area along with the increase in the temperature of Dhaka has emerged. Where temperatures are concentrated reducing the performance of local residents. This loss will increase in the days to come if we do not protect wetlands in cities, increase the number of green plants, and plan for airflow in cities to reduce temperature.”
Apart from Dhaka, the remaining 11 cities are – Athens (Greece), Bangkok (Thailand), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Freetown (Sierra Leone), London (United Kingdom), Los Angeles (United States), Miami (United States), Monterrey (Mexico), New Delhi (India), Santiago (Chile) and Sydney (Australia). The total loss in 2020 in 12 cities is 4 thousand 4 billion dollars. If measures are not taken to reduce the temperature, this loss could be 84 billion dollars by 2050.
According to the report, 60 to 80 percent area of Dhaka city has already come under high temperature-humidity. Climate change will make the situation worse.
According to the report, Dhaka’s heat is concentrated in its urban center. Among them are some informal settlements. Population density is high in these areas. On the other hand, there is a lack of green space. Such areas are increasing in Dhaka. The temperature in these areas of the city is 10 degrees Celsius higher than in the surrounding countryside.
Kamrangirchar of Dhaka is mentioned as an example of an area with high temperatures. The area is densely populated. The roofs of the houses here are made of tin. As a result, the temperature in this area is 12 degrees Celsius higher than the nearby areas. The area feels more heat indoors. Such living conditions are creating significant health risks for Dhaka residents.
According to the report, labor-intensive economic activities are more in Dhaka. Temperature reduction measures are low here. As a result, Dhaka is unusually vulnerable to the effects of high tides. Low-income workers are particularly exposed to high rates. They are disproportionately affected. The garment, transport and retail trade sectors are the worst affected by uncontrolled warming.
According to the report, there are about four lakh hawkers in Dhaka city. Most of whom have come from villages to cities. Their skills as workers are low. Most hawkers do not have permanent shops. They mainly sell various kinds of products in open spaces on the pavements. According to the survey, 9 percent of hawkers lost 50 to 75 percent of their income during the heat wave. And about 25 percent of hawkers lose 25 to 50 percent of their income.