Heat Action Day for Cities: A roadmap for urban heat mitigation

Heat Action Day for Cities: A roadmap for urban heat mitigation


Cities around the world face losses related to deadly heat waves each year. People living in cities and towns are disproportionately impacted  because urban areas are generally hotter than the surrounding countryside. Unfortunately most of the losses go unnoticed and thus heatwaves are rarely considered in policies and plans. This needs to change.  As climate change makes heat waves more frequent, longer and hotter, city leaders, humanitarian agencies, and the private sector should implement measures to protect our cities from unprecedented heat risks. This session will chronicle progress and define a roadmap towards beating the heat in cities.


Host:  Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Joyce Kimutai

Senior Meteorologist, Kenya Meteorology Department

Dr. Vicent Pagiwa

Public Health Research Fellow, Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana

Dr Kiswendsida Guigma

Technical Advisor Red Cross Climate Centre

Session Summary

Heatwave monitoring on the continent is generally disjointed, and there are no early warning mechanisms in place. In addition, heatwaves & their impacts on health & economics are poorly recorded in Africa. To have a better knowledge of future implications and trends, there is a need for more research to be conducted as this could increase an understanding of future impacts and trends. In addition, this would help in terms of identifying the unique challenges of heatwaves in Africa. There is a need for multi-sectoral collaborations/efforts- with expects from different fields. For example, conducting such research should be a collaboration between health experts, disaster researchers, meteorologists and other interested and affected parties, because to design solutions, one must first understand the immediate effects on health and infrastructure. Moreover, medical records are every good at determine the gaps when it comes to heat wave data gaps.

The session concluded by reiterating that through creativity, resilience, participation and agency, we will not only be able to learn and imagine future possibilities, but more importantly act to ensure sustainability in Africa.