Joy And Pain of January Harmattan
ElevateNews takes a look at the effect of harmattan on Lagos residents in the last few weeks.
The wind is dry, yet lovely. Children wake up so late because of the cold weather. They do not feel like going to school.
Parents have a nice sleep too both in the day and night just because the weather is cool. They also do not feel like going to work.
We thought, the harmattan had stopped in December but its sudden resurgence in January confirms that the climate has truly changed. The Sunday service was scanty. Worshippers kept in door due to the cold friendly weather.
Many do not bother that the electricity distribution companies refuse to supply power. There is no heat. Fans stay still, the air conditioner looks dusty, and curtains are dropped with windows closed to keep the house warm.
There is poor visibility at the dawn, making car owners drive slowly and steadily. But in some areas, noise of fire disaster is high. Scores of markets and homes have been gutted by fire due to dry wind.
The governments have prohibited bush burning at this period so that Nigeria does not witness what happened in Australia where a whole city suffered wildfire that destroyed crops.
The birds of the air also feel the cold. Hundreds of them visited my home on Sunday morning perching on the electric cable in groups to keep themselves warm.
The weather, of course, will germinate new pregnancies among couples this season. It is tempting weather that will lure the husbands’ to their wives.
This is not the best time to sustain a wound. It is always painful. The skin is dry and can easily cut or break. Children are cautioned from drinking cold water to prevent avoidable illness. Parents lock the freezer, except to keep cooking ingredients.
For residents whose road are not tired, this season brings cough and catarrh. The dust on the road rises easily to enter our nostrils and eyes. Soon people will be infected with conjunctivitis, popularly known as “Apollo” due to the virus germs in the dusty air.
The red eyes are very common this season and it mostly caused by the virus in the dust. Very contagious. But for operators of laundry, it is the best season to make money. Clothes get dirty quickly.
There is love in the air this season. The coldness in January is a sign of good things to come. It is a sign that the raining season will be a bit delayed and makes the farmers plan well.
For traders whose stores got burnt at Amu Market in Lagos, the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu has allayed the fear of relocating them. He said during the visit to the market that the government would not relocate them but instead, it would help them to get back to business.
Meanwhile, he warned the traders about the dry air of the harmattan season, which could always bring fire disaster.