Nigeria Suffers Severe Heatwave with no Relief in Sight Until May

Nigeria has been in the grip of an intense heatwave over the past few weeks, with meteorologist saying there is no relief in sight until the seasonal rains set in next month.

The extreme heat has been in place since March, with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) saying last week that the heatwave has been affecting most parts of the country, including coastal areas, with temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius.

On Friday, the temperature touched 42.2C in Minna, 120km northwest of Abuja. Meanwhile, Kano, 345km north of the capital, has notched up highs in excess of 40C every day since the beginning of April.

As people struggle to cope, authorities have been issuing warnings about the dangers brought on by the excessive temperatures.

Environmental expert Olwafemi Akinbode said climate change has become a public health risk.

“When you have heatwaves, the body is dehydrated, the young, the elderly, people that live sedated lives – these are the kind of people that have immediate health reactions to the heat wave,” Akinbode said.

The severe heatwave is expected to continue until May when the seasonal rains are expected to spread north across the country.

Environmental experts have called on authorities to make long-term plans to slow down the effects of climate change by reducing carbon emission and impose bans on tree-cutting.

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