The harmattan season is an annual season in which the wind brings dust from the Sahara Desert through to Nigeria and affects other West African countries. Harmattan permeates the dry season that lasts from around October to April with scorching temperatures and reduced humidity. Northern Nigeria, such as states like Maiduguri and Kano, are primarily affected and hardly touch the southern areas like Sokoto. Weather conditions are unstable alternating between hot and cold.
There are pros and cons to this season. It can serve as a nice relieving breathing period from the intense sun as well as the low temperature which keeps the mosquitoes at bay, but on the other hand it can really affect individuals and also animals. For starters, the dry weather conditions can affect the health of many Nigerians via their skin e.g. dried and cracked skin and lips, eyes and respiratory system, particularly due to the floating dust particles in the air.
Separately, there have been economic consequences.
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Scholars and doctors stress the effects that the season can have on people with asthma due to a trigger or asthma being dust. This may result in more frequent asthma attacks. Northerners exposed to the wind are exposed to eye conditions such as conjunctivitis. Doctors encourage people to shower up to 3 times a day to wash the dirt and particles out of their eyes.
As a result of the dry weather conditions during the harmattan season, fire outbreaks spread very easily and this increases the amount of fire related incidents within Nigeria.
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