Concerns as heatwave hits Borno, Kano, other northern states

Concerns as heatwave hits Borno, Kano, other northern states

- Some parts of Nigeria have been sweltering through extreme heat precipitated by an upsurge in temperatures in the past weeks

- The situation has prompted fears of outbreaks of diseases such as meningitis, cholera, among others

- The worst hit states are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, and Jigawa

A report by Daily Trust indicates that some northern states have been hit by extreme heat waves in the last few weeks.

According to the report, the worst hit states are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, and Jigawa

The situation has also prompted fears of outbreaks of diseases such as meningitis, cholera, among others

The temperatures began soaring since March, hovering between 38 and 43 Celsius in most of the states, sending waves of discomfort.

According to the Nigerian meteorological agency (NiMeT), these soaring temperatures will continue up to May.

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“This period is largely expected to be the warmest in the year because of the diurnal and periodic surge in the incursion of the southwesterly trade winds which will invariably accentuate the potential latent heat capacity of water vapor, an important contributor to urban heat quotient,” NiMeT said.

“Some of the health challenges that may arise from the surging temperatures include heat rash, heat syncope, heat edema, heat cramps, life-threatening heatstroke, heat exhaustion,” the agency said.

“Some of the consequences of this heatwave include the issue of meningitis, then kidney problem and heat stroke,” Dr Kabir Sada of the Federal Medical Centre Gusau said.

“Heat stroke is the situation whereby someone collapses as a result of high temperature or excessive heat. Even though heat stroke is very much common in Arabian countries where the temperature is much higher, therefore, people must be careful not to be exposing themselves to high temperatures,” he added.

In Borno, the intense semiarid heat has forced the majority of the residents, including thousands of IDPs in their camps, to stay out of their rooms deep into the night, with a growing population sleeping outside their rooms, despite the security implication.

The decrease in electricity supply in the recent weeks has compounded the predicament of the residents of the northeastern states, who are forced to patronise ‘cold water’ to cool down their boiling limbs, in flagrant violations of doctors’ advice against taking cold water.

“The most-brisk business is that of cold water and cold soft drinks, and I drink thrice to four times my usual quantity,. The temperature in Maiduguri fluctuates between 39 and 42 Celsius.

“The heat is so much that you can simply add Lipton (a tea bag) and sugar to the cup of water you take from every container because it is hot enough for tea,” a resident, Ali Musa said.

In Kano, people have been sleeping in the open in the last few weeks in Kano. The temperature change ranges from 37 to 42 degree Celsius and many residents have been facing a lot of challenges with the heat.

According to Malam Sagir Baba, he and his families have resorted to sleeping in the open to avoid the heat.

“I and my family no longer sleeps in the room, we are now using mosquitos treated nets to sleep in the open, because the heat is too much and one cannot afford to be operating on electricity generating set due to the present economic situation and the electricity distribution company has chosen this period to starved us with light,” he said.

In Yobe, a resident, Muhammad Mustapha, said the heat is more excruciating in the night because many people cannot sleep in their rooms.

“Majority of people are now sleeping outside their rooms because fans usually blow hot air. That if there is no electricity failure in the night,” he said.

In Adamawa state, the average temperature rose to 41 to 42 degrees since the beginning of April with residents spending more time indoors or under trees and shades to avoid the scorching heat.

“I believe most of the deaths that occurred in Yola and Jimeta in recent weeks may not be unconnected with the heat waves, people are just dying. Families should always check with the sick and the old and also little children to make sure they are not dehydrated,” a resident, Adamu Bala advised.

In Zamfara, the excessive heat has restricted the movements of residents, especially in the afternoon, as temperatures in Gusau fluctuate between 39 and 41 degrees Celsius.

“I don’t do things that would make me shuttle from one place to another especially at noon. At nights, we sleep outside our living rooms, although considerable improvement in power supply these days has helped matter a lot,” a resident, Sani Aliyu said.

In Katsina, the average temperature is between 36 and 38 degrees which has forced the residents to device several means to cool themselves from the severe hot weather.

Residents have resorted to sleeping outsides their rooms for fresh air while many wet their floors and walls to reduce the heat just as others have double the number of their baths daily.

A resident of Sabon Layi Lawal Saidu said the heat is unbearable and couple with lack of power has worsened the situation.

“Men, women and even the most vulnerable are children who cry all night due to heat,” he said.

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Meanwhile, in Katsina state, millions of residents have been grappling with water shortages in the past few weeks.

Some of the residents interviewed, say Katsina metro is facing the worst portable water shortage in its history so far.

For Malam Halilu Mohammed and his family, he says every day he buys a cart from water vendors for N300, which his family uses for cooking and other house chores, adding that the pipes in his house have been rusted, because the state water board hasn’t supplied a drop of water in the last four years since he moved in.

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