Harmattan is a seasonal wind that happens in West Africa, significantly within the dry season throughout the months of November to March. It’s characterised by the motion of dry and dusty air from the Sahara Desert southwards throughout the area.
Origin and Causes
The Harmattan wind originates from the northeast commerce winds, which blow throughout the Sahara Desert and the Sahel area. Because the wind strikes southwards, it brings dry and dusty air to West Africa.
Period and Timing
- The Harmattan season sometimes happens throughout the dry season, which can also be the harmattan interval, from November to March. It’s most intense between December and February.
- In the course of the Harmattan season, the air turns into very dry, resulting in low humidity ranges. This dryness could cause parched pores and skin, chapped lips, and different discomforts. Daytime temperatures may be comparatively cooler, whereas nighttime temperatures could drop considerably.
Mud and Haze
- One of many defining options of the Harmattan is the huge quantity of mud and advantageous particles it carries. This may end up in a hazy environment and lowered visibility. The mud can decide on surfaces, together with autos and buildings.
Affect on Well being
- Mud Inhalation: The Harmattan brings with it a big quantity of mud and advantageous particles. Inhaling this mud can irritate the respiratory tract and exacerbate current respiratory situations akin to bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and power obstructive pulmonary illness (COPD).
- Elevated Allergy symptoms: People with allergic reactions could expertise a rise in signs as a result of greater ranges of airborne allergens throughout the Harmattan season.
- Mud and Dryness: The dry and dusty situations can result in eye irritation. Mud particles within the air could cause discomfort, redness, and itching within the eyes.
Pores and skin Issues:
- Dry Pores and skin: The low humidity throughout the Harmattan may end up in dry pores and skin. This may occasionally result in points akin to flakiness, itching, and the event of pores and skin cracks.
- Chapped Lips: Lips are significantly weak to drying out throughout the Harmattan season, and people could expertise chapped lips with out correct moisture.
- Low Humidity: The Harmattan is related to low humidity ranges, which may contribute to dehydration. People could should be conscious of their water consumption to remain adequately hydrated.
- Day-Night time Temperature Variation: Whereas daytime temperatures throughout Harmattan may be cooler, nighttime temperatures could drop considerably. This temperature fluctuation can have an effect on people, particularly those that should not adequately ready.
- Elevated Susceptibility: The dry situations could contribute to elevated susceptibility to respiratory infections, together with viruses. Dry mucous membranes may be much less efficient at trapping and eradicating pathogens.
Worsening of Persistent Situations:
- Aggravation of Well being Situations: People with pre-existing well being situations, akin to arthritis or pores and skin issues, could discover that their signs worsen throughout the Harmattan as a result of mixture of dryness and temperature adjustments.
- The dusty and dry situations of the Harmattan can have well being implications. People could expertise respiratory points, particularly these with pre-existing respiratory situations. Eye irritation and pores and skin issues are additionally frequent.
- Protecting Clothes: Individuals could put on protecting clothes, akin to lengthy sleeves and scarves, to protect themselves from the mud and forestall pores and skin publicity to the dry air.
- Use of Moisturizers: Making use of moisturizers to the pores and skin and lips may also help mitigate the consequences of dryness.
- Eye Safety: Sporting sun shades or protecting eyewear can cut back the chance of eye irritation.
- Elevated Healthcare Demand: The Harmattan season can result in a rise in healthcare calls for, with extra people looking for medical consideration for respiratory and pores and skin points.
- The Harmattan can have financial penalties, significantly for sectors like transportation, agriculture, and vitality. Diminished visibility and dirt can have an effect on varied industries, resulting in financial challenges.
It is essential for people in areas affected by the Harmattan to be proactive in addressing these well being issues.
This may occasionally contain taking preventive measures, akin to staying hydrated, defending the pores and skin and eyes, and looking for medical consideration if respiratory or different well being points come up.
Moreover, public well being consciousness campaigns throughout the Harmattan season can educate the inhabitants on the right way to defend themselves and handle potential well being impacts.