Monday, 12 December 2011

The Craziness of Harmattan

Harmattan, a period which occurs during the dry season between the months of november and february, is here again. Dreaded by some yet still loved by others, it is characterized by drying of skin, cracking of lips, soles of feet and for some people even the skin itself, among other things. As a result of these, people resort to means of ensuring that their skins don't dry up through the use of lotions, moisturizers, emollients (eg mineral oil and petroleum jelly or vaseline). Girls go about with tubes of lip gloss in their bags and purses (not that they don't do it outside the harmattan period though) while some apply vaseline (which seems to be very efficient too) and this doesn't apply to girls alone.
Wind blows almost all the time filling the atmosphere with dust. The wind blows from the north-east, carrying sand and dust from the sahara desert. Sometimes, the wind and dust are so much that they form harmattan haze which reduces visibility in the atmosphere causing flights to be cancelled or redirected sometimes as a result.
The eyes are exposed to the harsh weather especially dust particles carried by the wind, causing itching and redness. Blocked noses and throats experienced when one wakes up in the morning aren't what anyone would look forward to. This makes harmattan not the best of weathers for people with pre-existing chronic chest infection. Worthy of note is Asthma, a chronic disease that makes it hard to breathe due to inflammatory congestion in the lower respiratory tract. Asthma patients thus pay special attention to their health, taking all possible practical measures to reduce exposure to the dusty atmosphere in addition to having their inhalers with them all the time.
As a result of the cold experienced at nights, people resort to means of keeping themselves warm. Some put on layers upon layers of clothing, some use "human blankets" if you know what i mean. Activities that could have transpired during the process of keeping warm lead to population increase nine months later. Sometimes i think that the mortality rate due to accidents that occur during withing the ember months and ritual killings that take place during the xmas period could be nature's way of checking this population increase.
Also, as a result of the fact that the harmattan period coincides with xmas period, girls try their best to look as charming as possible with the hope of catching the eyes of yankee and janded guys who come home for the yuletide. But the dryness of skin and cracking of lips doesn't seem to be doing much to help them in their cause.
But harmattan period doesn't have just downs associated with it. The upsides include quick drying of clothes as clothes dry within minutes after being washed. Also, mosquitoes seem to be almost non-existent as waters and bushes which favour their breeding seem to dry up.
It has been stated that the harmattan period has its pros and cons which make it loves by some people and hated by others. Feel free to drop your comments stating whether and why you love it or not.

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