Scorching heat, epileptic power supply: How are you coping?

Since February, Nigerians have experienced scorching heat as a result of the hot weather, with epileptic power supply in different parts of the country. PAUL OKAH speaks with a cross- section of citizens on how they are coping with the distress.

Bathing multiple times helpful 

The heat is really high these days. It’s just like someone opened the doors of hell and forgot to close it. I mean, how do you explain the fact that even the wind is hot whenever it chooses to blow? To compound matters, there is no steady power supply for either table or ceiling fans or for those who have air conditioners to make use of them. The situation is that bad. I have heat rashes all over my body because of the heat.

Electricity supply is almost at zero level in my area.

 If the light comes in at night, it may be for just thirty minutes or one hour and then you face the heat again.

And I can’t afford fuel for my generator nowadays. With the high cost of fuel since fuel subsidy removal, I only make use of my generator in extreme cases. If I decide to use my generator everyday because of the heat, then I will be spending over N5, 000 on a daily basis on fuel alone. Therefore, my appeal to AEDC is to look into the reason power supply is no longer as steady as it was before. I have to bathe like four or five times a day because of the heat.

Another implication is that I spend more on the soap I use, so it’s discouraging. If I decide not to bathe many times, the heat will be intense. Hopefully, the rainy season can start in earnest so that we don’t get roasted by heat because the situation is no longer something to laugh about.

… Philip Ademola, civil servant 

Sleeping naked 

How I cope with the excess heat is by taking my bath many times and sleeping naked. Luckily, my house is tiled so I sleep on the floor. If you don’t bathe multiple times, the heat will really deal with you. So, the trick is to bathe as many times as possible. How can people even stay up to 12 hours without taking their bath? Some people don’t bathe for a whole day, so the heat period is making people maintain personal hygiene.

You’re on your own if you don’t bathe multiple times because the heat will just be making you sweat excessively and to be uncomfortable. You will even get heat rashes as the sweat will soak your clothes. In fact, I take a break from my work as a hairdresser to bathe because my shop is close to my house. There is no steady light, so the heat in my shop is too much for me to stay and be sweating. Due to the high cost of fuel, we hardly use our generator except if the customer is willing to pay double for our services, which is rare. So, I try my best to keep the heat under control by bathing and using a hand fan to fan myself when I am not busy attending to customers. Also, whenever I come back from the shop, I bathe multiple times before going to bed. I stay alone so I sleep stark naked on the floor and that way, I save myself from the heat.

… Jennifer Chukwu, hairdresser 

Powder very important 

The heat is more intense during the day, so I bought this rubber half shoe. I take my bathe with the rubber shoe and allow some little quantity of water inside it to be in contact with my leg. I then stay where I receive fresh air and then feel the coolest nature of my day. Then at night, I make sure I rub powder after taking my bath. The powder helps to absorb heat. Many people may not know this trick, but once you rub powder after bathing, you won’t feel heat again. It’s a trick many people should be applying at this time. I learnt it from my mother. Ever since I became an adult, it has been helping me.

So, I’ll recommend the application of powder on the body for anyone facing heat, especially if the person doesn’t have light in his area to use AC or fan. Again, if you are living in an area that has trees as shades, try and make use of the trees because they will really be helpful at this point. Home is good when built well. Home should have trees and flowers planted in it. You wouldn’t complain if you have a good home like our forefathers. I have a tiny home with a nice garden on it. When you come around, you will understand what I mean. God created us and trees, plants to keep us comfortable. So, I sit under the tree in the daytime when the weather is too hot. Then in the night, I bathe, rub powder and sleep with light clothes.

…Fatima Bello, teacher 

Opened windows helpful 

There is a saying that desperate situations call for desperate measures. The solution to the heat wave is fresh air. I open all my windows while at home because the power supply has been very bad in my area these days. So, I open all my windows till day break and with constant bathing. After bathing, I don’t even dry my body with a towel. I allow my body to dry by itself. Then apply powder to feel cool. For now, this heat has no other remedy, except if you have a 24-hour power supply with the correct AC or fan, which is being frustrated by NEPA.

Even a fan is not totally helpful in the afternoon because it’s blowing heat and hot air. But that is by the way. So, after everything, I bathe and sleep naked in the night and with my windows open. There is no special trick, but once you notice heat at midnight, you can just go have a shower and go back to sleep. I often bathe around 10:00pm or 2:00am before I wake up around five. I have been begging God to have mercy on me with this heat. It’s not funny anymore. It should be raining by now, so I don’t know why we are feeling this much heat.

…Michael Ezeani, businessman 

Bathing many times, light wears…

It is not to complain about the heat that I focus on, but the solution because the thing is getting out of hand. It is as if DisCos have chosen to use the opportunity to compound our problems by not giving us light like before. So, I cope by bathing like four times a day. I wear light clothes to sleep and I sleep on the floor, not on the bed.

So, for those complaining of heat, bath regularly, wear very light clothing, ventilate your space, apply powder, have a series of hand fans (rechargeable, plastic, Hausa type) and drink plenty of water. This works for me. If you’re at home, after taking your bath don’t clean your body. Don’t wear clothes if you’re living alone, put on only shorts.

At work, don’t apply much cream. Put on a light clothe, avoid black clothes for now as they’re known to attract heat. It’s the sun that’s causing you much heat, so drink water often. I have even returned to the root of our first father, which is Adam. I no longer wear clothes. Sleeping on my sit-out has become my hobby.

…Peter Asuquo, civil servant