The heat wave in Nigeria has become the talk of the town for a while now and this is only expected. This year, the heat has gone overboard. I can practically feel the sun on my skin when I am out. It is as if it is going to bring my blood to a boil.
For a while, I thought, well, this is even though not normal, expected. I just didn’t think much of it until I began to see a series of posts about the heat wave.
According to experts, this unbearable heat is as a result of heat waves coming from the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Unfortunately, as it stands, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has said that this is not ending anytime very soon and we may want to prepare for more hot days and warm nights.
Heatwave, as described as Britannica is a period of prolonged abnormally high surface temperatures relative to those normally expected.
The Lagos state government is exceptionally taking steps to make sure that we contend and eventually control what is going on as regards the heat wave at least within the jurisdiction of the community. I think this a thoughtful step forward.
The tree planting project that has been proposed will do a lot to help us absorb the shock of the heat wave and probably lesson its aggressiveness. Tree planting is such a very simple method I think everyone can adopt.
Where I think there might be a problem however is an inadequate spread of information. Except you come here to my blog, read the Lagos state government’s blog, listen to radio and TV programs on this issue, you might have no idea on what to do. So, I think sensitization should increase. The Federal government of Nigeria has the money to cause this information to spread. Let it spread!
One of the other concern we have on our hands is that not many people know what causes a heat wave and what we are doing to hurt our environment. The other day I was discussing with someone who is enthusiastic about the environment and I concluded that there are only a few of these people in Nigeria and until everyone decides this is not just a corporate but individual responsibility, we are all in for big-time trouble in future.
In fact, until we begin to talk about the environment like we talk about BBNaija, we are in serious soup. We have tampered with the natural flow of things and the balance of the ecosystem for far too long.
The following are suggested tips for surviving the heat wave:
1. Drink lots of water
One of the effects of the heat wave is dehydration, serious dehydration that can lead to a lot of serious health conditions. I know that we have not yet formed a culture around drinking water but I think this is the time to begin to take drinking water seriously. I have a very nice article on how I get myself to take in lots of water during the day. You should check it out.
As much as you drink lots of water, try to drastically reduce or completely avoid your intake of alcohol and caffeinated drinks. These drinks are known to dehydrate you and frustrate your hydration efforts.
2. Stay away from the sun
As much as you can, make your activities more indoors than outdoors especially during the hottest times of the day. It is only reasonable to stay away from direct contact with the hot sun
3. Use sunscreen
Sunscreens do a lot to help to protect your skin from the harsh effects of the UV rays. You can get these sunscreens separately or get body creams that have a good amount of the Sun Protection Factor, SPF. I asked Yele what she was using and she told me of the Nivea Sun Protect and Hydrate with an SPF of 50.
4. Take frequent baths
During the day, whenever you have the opportunity, take baths several times a day, 2 to 3 times maybe. You should also take cold water baths before you go to bed at night.
5. Feed on lots of fruits
Fruits and other healthy meals like vegetables will help you keep your body healthy during this season. Fruits with very high water content will naturally help to add to your daily water intake. Talk about oranges, watermelon, apples, cucumber and a whole lot of these fruits. Thankfully, they are all in season.
6. Avoid overcrowded environments
As much as you can, stay away from overly congested places. You should also keep your own immediate environment controlled. Make sure it is well ventilated and cool.
I found this infographic also very useful. It is easy to share with your contact on Whatsapp and everywhere.
I am not sure why tree planting isn’t on the infographic as a potential measure against heat wave but let’s hope that as soon as we survive this period and even as from this moment we can begin to create conversations around this matter.
Please stay safe and consciously watch your health during this period.