Have you ever had the experience of enjoying a sweet morning stretch; looking out the window and noticing it’s still dark outside and fluffing your pillow to enjoy more sleep; checking the time on your phone to note the glorious minutes of sleep you have left to enjoy only to see 6:20 am staring back at you? Oh yeah, it’s harmattan season you sadly remember.
West Africa’s ‘winter,’ the harmattan season, also known as the dry season, begins usually in late December with a dry dusty wind that blows from the Sahara Desert. The intensity differs from season to season and sometimes only ends in early to mid-February.
Harmattan is a somewhat pleasant season because it dims the sun and decreases the humidity, laundry dries much faster and the mosquito breeding rate is reduced. The downside is the dust.
A very bad harmattan day has a thick fog full of dust that gets really bad if it is windy. It gets foggier in the mornings and evenings and more intense in hilly and mountainous regions.
After suffering under the gruesome sun, the dry season is mostly welcomed. The sun is blanketed by thick dust creating a hazy atmosphere and hampering the ability to see clearly. Visibility depends on the time of day though.
Here’s What To Do
Whiles enjoying some respite from the usual blazing sun, you must be cautious not to fall ill during this season.
Due to the dusty nature of the weather and humidity dropping as low as 15 percent, it is very easy to contract the flu and aggravate asthma.
It can also result in chapped lips, dry and irritated eyes. Some, experience nosebleeds, very dry skin, and chaffed and split soles.
So incorporate one vitamin C tablet into your daily meal plan, keep some dusters handy to look presentable at all times. Moisturize your skin and hair with an oil-based cream or lotion, preferably shea butter.
Also dress to cover as much as possible to limit the amount of skin left exposed. Finally, invest in sunglasses to protect your eyes and keep your lips moisturised always to avoid cracked lips.
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Written by: Phoebe Addo, Fri, Jan 13, 2022.