The harmattan season is a period during which the North-easterly Sahara trade winds rush in a desert-storm-like manner into countries of West-Africa, leaving cracked lips, skin cracked and makes breathing difficult while everything is covered in dust. Ghana, obviously, is however not left out of this adverse condition. However, there is one good advantage; it reduces the breeding of mosquitoes drastically.
Below are a few methods that may help you to survive harmattan in Ghana and a few things you should know.
Hydrate (a lot)
As any Ghanaian or TV adverts in the country would say, “Hydrate”. It is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself.
Keeping hydrated is crucial to your health. It helps keep the skin smooth and also reduces stress. During harmattan people claim to never feel thirsty, thereby they do not feel the need to drink water. This can continue for a long time and if care is not taken one can dehydrate, which can lead to serious health problems.
If possible, carry a bottle of water along. Eating fruits is also greatly advised.
Apply lots of skin lotion
Cracked lips and chilled lips are a sign of harmattan. As a tourist, you would not like to be caught on this side.
The best and far most effective way to avoid this is applying lotions. Moisturizers, balms, and creams are all great in preventing dry skin and cracked lips.
Locally made shea butter is one of the best creams you can get while on your journey, it is very thick and you can be rest assured there will be no sign of harmattan on our body even if you go out for whole day.
Dress for Harmattan
Just as in any country with severe weather condition, appropriate clothing for the weather conditions is important.
In Ghana during the harmattan, tight-fitting clothes, overalls, jeans, and other thick clothing can be worn. This type of clothing is advised because it helps keep the body warm and prevents the harmattan from touching your bare skin.
When you get to Ghana during harmattan, dress as the Ghanaians do–they know what they are doing.
Traveling should be done during the day
Due to the hazy nature of the atmosphere during the morning and at night, it is advisable to travel during the day when the sun is up. Although the sun will be barely visible during the day, it is the safest period to travel, especially in cars and or boats.
People with health conditions should keep their medications nearby
During Harmattan the atmosphere gets very dusty, and this affects breathing and health in general.
People with breathing difficulties, especially asthmatic patients, are always strongly advised to keep their inhalers and other medications at hand. In case of any complications, one would be able to get first aid before special treatment is given.
Overall, there is no need to fear Harmattan in Ghana. Keep to the safety guidelines and you’re good to go!