In June 2021, Bright Star Development Society Balochistan (also known as BSDSB or Bright Star) were funded to assist in mitigating against the anticipated heatwave in Sibi (Pakistan). In this locally-led anticipatory action response Bright Star provided behaviour messaging in addition to "cooling facilities" with cold water and a place to rest. This paper summarises some of the evidence and learning from an evaluation of this response.
Some key findings include:
- Heatwaves are a major problem in Sibi; they are getting worse each year and impact negatively on peoples’ health and livelihood.
- People were using the cooling facilities and benefiting from them in terms of the health and wellbeing.
- The cooling facilities represented something new for the community- a locally led public service – and acted as an example others could follow.
- People felt that Bright Stars close consultation with the local administration and understanding of communities' needs were critical in establishing this culturally appropriate service.
- People were able to benefit from the behavioural messaging, some messages were new and helped dispel myths, and they passed on messages to others.
- People suggested ways to improve access to the messaging through, for example, using loudspeakers to cater to those who could not read.
- People suggested access to the cooling facilities could be improved for girls and women by creating female friendly spaces.