While May is typically the hottest month of the year in Chennai, this year it is proving to be even hotter than normal. Temperatures have reached nearly 105 degrees and may climb.
Part of the reason for the soaring temperatures stems from the presence of Cyclone Maarutha in the Bay of Bengal. This cyclone pulls moist warm air toward itself, thus leaving hot, dry winds coming from western inland regions to take the place of the moist air usually found in Chenna and its surrounding areas. Add to that the fact that the recent cyclone that hit Chennai not long ago destroyed a large percentage of the trees in the city. Those two factors have led to a very hot, dry season.
While there are light rains predicted, meterologists are unsure how much rain will reach the area and how much it will help lower the temperatures.
Please pray for the people in Chennai, that they can get some relief from the heat and that the hot weather doesn't affect the businesses of our affiliates there. Many of our families and business people are affected by extreme weather. In addition to the obvious discomfort the temperatures bring, their businesses can suffer.
Heat Wave in Context...
Many of us in the West have lived through hot weather and even heat waves with temperatures in the 100's. However, for the people OneIN works with in Chennai, it's not just HOT. It's a kind of debilitating heat that people without access to clean water die from. People living in poverty are always just one emergency away from disaster. For some, it might mean not eating that day. For our project participants in India that have started food or animal husbandry businesses, this heat emergency makes it impossible to run their business. No water to cook with, no water to feed their cows.
Remember Karthik? He has several cows that provide milk to the people in his village, giving him income to support his family and his ministry. He feeds those cows by growing food for the in a field near his home. What happens when the hot, dry weather hits? Not only do his cattle suffer from lack of water, but his crops struggle to grow well enough to feed the cattle. This affects the entire family and the ministry they have to the community.