You can try hide from this horrible weather but if the heat doesn’t seek you out miasma will serenade you. Wherever you look, the heat, with a dimple, smiles back at you. A battery-powered hand fan drags hot air but if there was a better option you would have ditched the lame thing. The tiles are unusually hot. You touch the walls of your room and the heat responds unevenly to the gesture. Bastard! Is there still an ozone layer over this geographic region called Nigeria, you ask. We are doing well with Deforestation too.
The heat salivates on your warm skin ready to do damage even after doing damage. This is on another level and oftentimes you are helpless. What can a man do? Do you go naked? Will these people understand if you show more skin to get more air into your epidermis? Or have the daughters of Eve blown off that window? Is it moral? Is it legal? Is there a pool around? You may shut it off temporarily by running engines that deafen the ears but how much are you willing to spend?
How deep is your deep pocket if you have a pocket in the first place? How many are in that category? How many Nigerians are rich enough to use generators to hold the heat temporarily? If you look closely on the skin of many Nigerians you will see the evidence. The rash is sparkling. Insomnia created as a result is depressing. For some with insomnia, it’s hellish because the heat paralysis is depressing their insomnia. The showers keep going on and off. And above all, darkness hangs around working as an ally to the bad weather.
What we have done with Nigeria is fascinating. We were supposed to have a government that provides us with water but we fetch our own water instead. The water systems controlled by the states are dead and the implications of our solution are scary. We are digging and building boreholes and the crust of our earth is pulling apart and warming our buildings up for collapse. Even when the masses are lectured on the repercussions, what else can they do? The options seem limited even though it isn’t.
The only other option the masses know is the running of pipes to a central area but that is within the scope of government. The option that is often overlooked is the removal or change of government through a revolution. Turn the government upside-down, wreak havoc on the madness and keep doing the same until a reasonable government is formed. This is the hard and good option, but the people prefer to battle nature than the men complicating nature. While the heat burns and power fails, we get generators and run for three or four hours (the rich may run theirs for 24 hours) and pollute our ears, eyes, and atmosphere.
To run our electronics we acquire generators, solar panels, and inverters and play the role of the government. Even at the poor quality of power provided by the government, every month, the all-powerful power distribution companies (aka discos) punish us with outrageous bills. Most times we are paying for darkness. While they (the government) claim that these discos are private companies, the eleven (11) in operation are owned by either those in government or friends of those in government and the inspiration behind the impunity with which they operate is not lost on us. The discos (you can substitute that for the government) can do whatever they want without any repercussion but the truth is that all these can be corrected by the Nigerian people.
In a sane setting, when such weather visits a people and the government do nothing or seem to be doing nothing, a revolution could happen. But here, we familiarize ourselves with all manners of suffering. They tested us with pipe-borne water and we showed them we could come up with a trouble-less solution and they rejoiced. They saw how we responded to the issue of bad roads and they were convinced at our docility. They saw that no matter what they did with the power we will always allow it to slide. They saw that the majority of us have been defeated and where there is no will there is no way.
The man will be healthy in the first place to put up a fight. He will need to be well fed to even raise an argument. They test run bad policies and if the masses swallow it, they make it fully operational. When the Social Media Bill was been floated around that was what was going on. The program was being test run for service. If the masses had remained silent, implementation and enforcement would have been the next move.
While the inside of our rooms burned without power intervention the outside welcomed new dwellers. It is not unusual to see many persons sleeping outside during the heat period and the environment is not even healthy, to begin with. The open gutters create a habitat for mosquitoes and this translates to malaria and a double tragedy is established. The poor Nigerian spends the nights battling the heatwave and at the same time taking anti-malaria drugs. The gutters are in such horrible states because of the government but, to be honest, it is a dual creation.
While the epileptic government build inferior roads with open sewer systems and canals, the citizens fill up the open systems and canals with pure water sachet, glass bottles, plastic bags, polythene bags, banana peels, paper, stones, sand, furniture, outdated electronics, cotton, grass, urine, and even raw shit. And when the fluids try to flow to the final destination the wheels are clogged. In the rain, we bring out our waste bin and pour the contents into the gutters for safe transport because the government has refused to invest in waste disposal.
So, we sleep outside, in the company of just mosquito bites if we are special or in addition we inhale, digest and metabolize putrid aromas and the venoms of creeping Anthropods. Our solution to the heat is not even a solution. We buy mats or water beds and sleep outside with our hearts in our hands. The scorpion could strike at any time, we know. The snake could roll over and spit rotten saliva onto our rash, we know. The rats could suck our fingernails and drop Lasser Fever on o+ur mats, we know. We choose these venoms over the heat. We choose bad smell over sweaty bodies. We choose scorpion bites as well and if all we need to stay in the environment is an insecticide capable of choking us, we simply create a rectangle with the droplets. But there is a better option.
What if instead of going out of the rooms to find another shithole to squat, we go out of our rooms and occupy the streets like the Egyptians did with Mubarak and then Morsi in Tahiri Square? What if we knew the source of our pain and treated it rather than creating options that can never exist as solutions? What if we had done this in the past 60 years? Can the evil men responsible for the state of Nigeria stand the rage of over 150 million people?
For how long will the fury of this heat knock us out? For how long will the masses bend to the madmen in charge of the country? Your body is burning but what is the best you can do? A generator will not save you. A rechargeable fan will go a long way but how far? A solar panel can solve the problem but how many people can afford one? Last year, we were tortured by the weather. Two years ago the story was the same. This year nothing has changed.
Nigerian that entered Hell left the door open and the land is closer to Hell in
the first place. Sarcasm has killed us. We are not asking the government to fix
the weather or change nature but to simply provide the basic tools to survive
nature. We built houses to shelter us from the rain; we built roads to move
humans and goods around; electric power was also created to help humans but
instead few humans have made it difficult for most humans to enjoy it. We gave
them legitimacy but today they have formed a cult. We made them but today they
mar us. What we are facing is covert cultism but we are too blind to see. The
men in power have created a cult from the structures we handed over to them and
we have been enchanted. But is this writer willing to take the first bullet?