Lagos — Following the prevalence of heat wave in Lagos State and other parts of the country in the past two weeks, the Lagos State Government has urged residents to reduce the time they stay in the sun by staying indoors more.
Environmental experts have also blamed the harsh weather situation on the rapid deforestation and degradation of Nigeria's rainforest.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who gave the warning in Lagos, weekend, said continuous exposure to excessive heat was dangerous and could cause health problems, particularly to young children, the elderly and people with medical problems such as asthma or those on medication for certain conditions.
Urging the people to stay indoors, Idris said if any strenuous exercises must be done at all, "it must be done in the early hours of the day when the temperature is coolest."
He implored the people to drink enough water and avoid drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine, use protective gadgets such as hat or umbrella, sunglasses and sunscreen, take cold baths and leave water to dry on the skin, as well as never leave children and pets inside closed cars.
Idris said: "Lagos is currently experiencing heat wave, which is a prolonged period of excessively and abnormally hot weather with temperature exceeding 32.2oc and it is usually accompanied by humidity that usually lasts for at least one day but could last several days to weeks. Continuous exposure to this excessive heat is dangerous and could cause problems such as heat rash, heat stress, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke."
Expert decries deforestation
Similarly, environmental experts, at a three-day workshop in Calabar, Cross River State, weekend, said it was time for Nigeria to embrace global programmes, such as the REDD+ initiative.
Speaking on "Background and Context for REDD+ in Nigeria," a lecturer with the University of Calabar, Prof. Francis Bisong, said forest and vegetation resources had been dwindling over the years.
He said the current deforestation rate estimated at 3.7 per cent was among the highest globally, placing Nigeria seventh on the list of Greenhouse Gases emitters due to land use change.