How Hong Kong Heatwave Affect Underprivileged’s Home?

Recently, temperatures in Hong Kong have been rising continuously, and this kind of heat has a more severe impact on citizens living in poor housing conditions, making it difficult for them to breathe even indoors. Hong Kong has experienced record-breaking high temperatures in the past few weeks, with temperatures staying at over 35 degrees Celsius and humidity over 80%, prompting multiple heatwave warnings.

The recent heatwave brought by Typhoon Mawar has made many Hong Kong citizens suffer, especially low-income families and the elderly who live in subdivided flats or temporary housing. These temporary housing units may not be equipped with air conditioning and rely only on electric fans for ventilation, making the units like ovens in the heat. Even if some households have air conditioning units, they may not be able to afford the high cost of running them and often have to seek relief in shopping malls.

In addition, the elderly face more health problems during high temperatures. A research report by the University of Hong Kong^ has mentioned that, in addition to heatstroke and dehydration, hot weather can also cause dizziness, headaches, cognitive decline, irritability, and insomnia, and in severe cases, it can induce cardiovascular disease, which cannot be ignored. The elderly are more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather due to their declining physical function, and some of them also take certain medications for chronic diseases that can be affected by hot weather.


Although the government has urged citizens to stay indoors and drink enough water, these recommendations are almost impossible to follow for citizens without air conditioning or living in poor conditions. Even though existing non-profit organizations in Hong Kong provide temporary shelters for citizens in need during extreme heatwave warnings, their facilities are limited. When the heatwave lasts for several days, many impoverished citizens in Hong Kong can only continue to endure the hot and difficult living conditions at home.

As climate change leads to an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, PapaCare hopes to improve the housing environment and living standards of vulnerable groups in Hong Kong and provide the necessary resources for the community.