origin of harmattan – dry season in nigeria

Harmattan In Nigeria – It’s that time of the year again when the dry air attacks our nostrils, there’s dust everywhere and the skin tends to get ashy quickly. We all know how dry it gets during winters. That must be why experts recommend us to moisturize more than we do in summers because damp atmosphere makes our skin more dry, rough and chapped. During the Harmattan season, it’s not unusual for people to cough, sneeze and have difficulty breathing. Here’s how to survive the intense weather as a Nigerian.

The Harmattan season is basically the time when Nigeria’s weather changes from wet to dry. It originates from the dry and dusty harmattan trade winds which blows from the Sahara desert over West Africa. Harmattan comes between the end of November to the middle of March. Visiting Nigeria for the first time during this period might give a whole different experience so here’s all you need to know about Nigeria’s two seasons

Harmattan is the name given to a dry and dusty trade wind that originates in the Sahara and blows over Nigeria. It is named after the season of the same name which occurs between November and March. During this period, Harmattan winds blow from north to south across Africa for about four months (December to February). In some parts of Nigeria, such as Lagos, harmattan can hardly be felt during these periods. However, in places closer to the Sahara/Gulf of Guinea which are in the direction of the wind, harmattan effects can be quite severe.

  1. Stay hydrated

The body needs lots of water at all times but especially during summer. It’s normal to become dehydrated and get thirsty very easily at this time, so avoid carbonated drinks at and juices but rather drink at least 1.5 liters of water every day as this will help keep your whole body system working properly.

2. Adjust outfits

Warmer weather means your body will be exposed to more sun. This means that you need to be extra careful when going out in the day and keep yourself covered up with jackets and scarves that block the sun. The type of clothes you wear can affect how warm you are during cold nights in the city.

3. Take vitamin C

We all know that the harmattan season is here. This will help to reduce the likelihood of you contracting the flu otherwise known as catarrh. As there are dust and cold everywhere, taking vitamins generally will help combat the negative effects they could have on the body.

4. Moisturise

A good moisturiser and lip balm will be your best friend. The balm is for chapped lips, while the moisturiser keeps the skin hydrated. Keep one of these in your bag, pocket or somewhere easily accessible.

5. Be careful with fires

One of the major threats during harmattan is fire. Fires tend to get aggravated and the smoke that emanates from them is a serious health hazard. Ensure that you do not burn indiscriminately and if you have to burn anything, make sure it is attended and well monitored. Most fire accidents happen in this season because everywhere is dry and the fire can travel easily without restrictions.

6. Avoid dusty areas

In this time of harmattan, it is advisable that asthmatics should stay away from dusty areas and have their inhalers on them at all times. Wearing a nose/face mask is also advisable.

7. Wear protective hairstyles

Harmattan can be very bad for Nigerian hair types, especially 4c. It can cause dryness and hair breakage at the tips. Wear hairstyles that keep your ends covered, like braids, dutch braids and incorporate protective styles into your regimen.

8. Avoid flying

During harmattan, flights tend to get cancelled or rescheduled a lot due to intense haze. Avoid flying if you don’t need the hassle and go for other means of transport instead.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *