How Kuwait is Coping with Extreme Heat

The scorching ardor fiercely rages across numerous nations in North America and Asia, with myriad locations surpassing historical records of soaring temperatures. Several European countries have enacted decrees to prohibit outdoor labor during extreme heat, while conflagrations ravage Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other lands. However, according to the esteemed British publication, the “Mirror,” the heatwaves experienced by many nations pale in comparison to the scorching fervor endured by the Middle Eastern realm of Kuwait. “Especially in the capital, Kuwait City, habitation becomes an insurmountable feat.” As per the “Mirror,” the city’s temperature escalation surpasses the global average, with summer readings frequently exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. “Even the streets necessitate air-conditioning.”

The searing sun torments the city, yet beneath the majestic palm trees, shoppers leisurely peruse the European-style boutiques, unwavering in the face of perspiration. In this arid desert nation, such comfort owes itself to architectural marvels and technological advancements: Sprawling malls enwrap entire streets, while omnipresent air conditioners bestow a ceaseless zephyr. Even the traditional market boasts misters, offering respite from the heat. “During this time of year, few remain in Kuwait. In the sweltering months, people seek refuge abroad, evading the scorching climate,” confided Abdullah Ashkanani, a 53-year-old merchant, to AFP. His shop remains open, but customers are absent, merely for appearances’ sake.

Abu Mohammad, who has embraced retirement, sits ensconced in a cool and inviting café, donning a resplendent white robe and traditional turban. “We endure with ease, for our abode, our conveyance, and every facet of life are graced with air conditioning,” he declared. The affluent locals have become less inclined to venture outdoors, preferring to relish the refreshing gusts within their abodes, offices, or malls. Outside, heat-stricken birds plummet from the heavens, and astute pigeons huddle in the sheltered shades. In the Persian Gulf, organisms incapable of acclimating to the warming seas meet their demise.

Kuwait City endures an oppressive heat, yet its streets remain bustling. According to the “Mirror,” migrant laborers from Arab, South Asian, and Southeast Asian nations already constitute approximately 70% of the country’s populace. Engaged primarily in construction, domestic service, and other industries, these migrants traverse the streets, braving the sweltering buses. A study published in 2022 highlighted that migrant workers in Kuwait face heightened health risks due to heat exposure. The study projected that climate change could amplify heat-related fatalities in Kuwait by 5.1% to 11.7% by century’s end, with migrants experiencing a 15% increase in mortality, as stated in the research.

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