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After a devastating summer of heat waves, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) continues to be laser-focused on supporting cities in taking immediate, scalable action to reduce the threat and deadly effects extreme heat poses to their most vulnerable communities. Building on its commitment, Arsht-Rock joins forces with Freetown, Sierra Leone’s Mayor Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr to appoint the first Chief Heat Officer (CHO) on the African continent and to launch #HeatSeason in Africa.
Freetown joins a growing group of cities around the world that have appointed a Chief Heat Officer as a part of Arsht-Rock’s City Champions for Heat Action. Alongside Miami-Dade County (Florida, USA), and Athens (Greece), Freetown will dedicate a city official to manage the growing risk of extreme urban heat. With support from the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, Chief Heat Officers raise awareness of extreme heat risk among their citizens, coordinate among disparate stakeholders to prompt better planning and response to heat waves, and support the implementation of long-term heat risk reduction projects.
Join us for the announcement of Africa’s first Chief Heat Officer and the launch of #HeatSeason in Africa.
Climate change is causing more frequent and severe, life-threatening heat waves that have devastating short-and long-term consequences. The World Meteorological Organization predicts that over the next three years, Africa will experience continued warming and decreasing rainfall, especially over North and Southern Africa. If global temperatures increase from 1°C to 4°C relative to pre-industrial levels, the continent’s overall GDP is expected to decrease by 2.25% to 12.12%, respectively.
The cities and counties that are taking immediate, scalable action provide a model for governments around the world to expand upon. As the worsening impacts of extreme heat are felt worldwide, local officials can lead in protecting urban communities, particularly the vulnerable to the effects of heat.
Kathy Baughman McLeod
Director and SVP, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
Co-chair, World Economic Forum’s Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030;
Senior Fellow, Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Jefferson T. Koijee
Sanitation Sector Co-Lead of the Mayor’s Delivery Unit, Freetown