Botswana is one of the most progressive countries in the region when it comes to climate monitoring. It houses infrastructure that also informs the rest of the region on future climatic patterns.
We also note that from time to time warnings are issued to the public to be careful of impending heat waves.
While such periodic warnings to the public are most welcome and are encouraged, we
however note that we don’t seem to have a monitoring mechanism to inform ourselves about the effects of the heat-waves on the health of our population.
We need to be concerned about the effects of the heatwave on our people’s health in
the same zest that we attach to the effects of natural calamities like drought on our crops and livestock.
In fact we should develop a robust monitoring and evaluation system similar to the one we have adopted for crops and livestock to keep us informed about the effects of the heatwave on the nation’s population, from the elderly to the young ones.
There are fears that many Batswana are dying or having chronic ailments as a result
of the effects of the heatwave.
Being able to count cases of the effects of
a long way in informing policy developers on what can be done to shield our various
populations from the effects of heat wave.
It is a sad case since in Botswana large areas can be exposed to over 40 degrees Celsius of heat from October-to March, that’s six months of straight unbearable heat.
We cannot afford to sweep this challenge under the carpet because it is about a nation’s health.
To be fair, Batswana across the country are on their own when it comes to this problem, but is there a reason why they should be on their own, when the economy needs the population to be in the best of shape physically, mentally, and emotionally, to be able to contribute fully to the development of this country!
We need to take stock of our development policies as a nation and interrogate them,
especially when they remain silent on such a vital health, social, and economic topic.