Surviving the Heat Wave in Douala

It has triggered a hike in the sales of fans and ACs as well as drinking of much water.

Inhabitants of the economic capital, Douala, have developed survival tactics to cope with the current heat wave rocking the metropolis. As the saying goes; one man’s misfortune is another man’s fortune. The heat wave has triggered a hike in the business of air cooling apparatus like air conditioners and fans. Owing to the fact that at the peak of the heat fans blow warm air, a new brand of fans are coming up which use water and can blow cool air even in the midst of the heat. This is the choicest fan now for those who are not rich enough to afford an air conditioner.

The heat is also causing a boom in the sale of water by the roadsides and other body cooling items like yogurts, ice cream, ‘folere’, Ginger and so on hawked around the streets of the economic capital. A case in point is around the Brasseries brewery plant where youths propose water in bottles and sachets to motorists and passersby alike. At the peak of the heat, people in offices with air conditioners limit their movement outside while those who cannot afford, put the fan at top speed or better still look for shelter under a roof or a tree for those in the quarters. In the evenings, people sit outside of their houses for as long as possible to enjoy the cooling effect of the wind and only go into the house to sleep at night.

Some people say they bathe several times during the day just to keep the body temperature while others say the take a bath just before going to bed so as to remain freshened up and be able to sleep at night. On nights without electricity, some people take the risk to sleep with their doors and windows wide open just to let in some fresh air to enable them catch a sleep. It is worthy to note that the heat witnessed presently in Douala is not unusual, given that it is the dry season. Old timers are used to while new comers into the city find it difficult to adapt to the damp heat and at times suffer ill health just due to the heat wave



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