For many Nigerians, this is a tough time. The economy is biting hard. Prices of commodities have gone up. Power supply is poorer than ever and is worsened by ongoing fuel scarcity. The palpable social discomfort has been worsened by the stratospheric hot weather which is making Nigerians to sweat round the clock.
There has been an unprecedented increase in the general temperature. The heat, both during the day and at night, has been intolerable. It is as if God had withdrawn the cool breeze that He once generously granted us in this part of the world. Coping with the heat is now a major challenge for many Nigerians.
This situation has not been helped by the current abysmal supply of power and the ongoing fuel scarcity. Consequently, many households which ordinarily would have fought off the heat by using air conditioners or/and fans powered by generators have had no such respite.
Many Nigerians, especially children, now have heat rashes. Although, sellers of dusting powder are making more sales, while generator repairers are getting better patronage, the fact is that the general unease caused by the hot temperature is a concern for everybody.
On a lighter note, many Nigerians have devised ingenious methods of coping with the raging heat – with varying degrees of success and frustrations. While some people bath several times at midnight, some sleep outside and end up being at the mercy of mosquitoes. Unfortunately, water coming out of the taps and even storage tanks is now sometimes hot and thus not of much help.
The fundamental questions are: Why is the weather so hot? What has happened to the standard rainy and dry seasons of years gone by? Why are we having less rainfall even during rainy season compared to years of yore when there was so much rain?
My research so far has indicated that these unpleasant changes are inevitable fallouts of climate change and global warming. To many people the world over, reports on climate change and global warming is nothing but figments of idle imaginations, but the scientific consensus, according to the Wikipedia, is that the earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming.
Events in recent times have proven that Science is right indeed – this world of ours is definitely changing, in a negative, if not alarming, way. Also, by our actions and inactions, we are fast-tracking some negative environmental changes with attendant dire consequences for the earth’s inhabitants.
The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which assessed current scientific opinion on global warming posited that warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as evidenced by the increase in global average air and ocean temperatures, the widespread melting of snow and ice and the rising global average sea level.
The report also posited that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to human activities.
Scientific bodies have recommended specific policies to governments on how to have an effective response to climate change and necessary policy decisions at governmental level to achieve set goals. We have been warned that unless comprehensive and pragmatic actions are taken, the harm currently being experienced from climate change may worsen.
I hope that political leaders the world over will do what is right and implement policies that will reduce global warming and make this world more habitable for humans, especially generations coming after us.
Back home, I urge the Nigerian government to not only heed the call to join hands in fighting global warming but to also help to mitigate the current discomforts afflicting Nigerians generally. Ongoing efforts to end incessant power outage, as well as end ongoing fuel scarcity, must be expedited. If this is done, coping with the hot temperature at least for now will be easier.
Nigerians should also endeavour to drink as much water as possible in this period. According to my physician friend, people will get dehydrated more because of the hot weather and this has serious health consequences.
This is also not a period to bath once a day. Nigerians should as much as possible take personal hygiene seriously and bathing as many times as possible especially before going to bed in this period will be quite beneficial.
Above all, I cannot but pray for the sky to open and for the rain to pour down. I so much want rain to fall that I have for days now been humming the “Send Down the Rain” hit song of the Nigerian reggae star, Majek Fashek. As Majek said, God, please send down the rain!