General News of Saturday, 10 January 2015
As the harmattan wind sweeps the streets and homes in the Tamale metropolis, the sales of shea butter has intensified in the Tamale central business market and the recent fire-hit Aboabo market.
The lip cracking and skin burning harmattan has set in, making life uncomfortable for the people in the three northern regions.
The north-east trade wind, otherwise known as the harmattan, occurs from November through to March. The wind blown is usually dry, affecting visibility, and the sun looks dull but scorching when viewed.
The harmattan season has never been friendly to most people, especially school children, as the weather becomes extremely cold in the morning, such that getting out of bed becomes a huge task.
However, I personally experience dry skin with my hands and feet, sometimes too cold generating unpleasant feelings. Others also have their lips crack as well as the feet. Motor riders are prone to the harsh weather as the wind carries dust into their eyes, causing itching and redness. So they are advised to regularly wash the eyes and use protective spectacles.
Sampling views of some populace in the metropolis about the weather, I could read a common trend that affect them, which is catarrh, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, some have also lost their voice as one could barely hear a word.
Meanwhile, harmattan cannot be described as a ‘bad master’ after all, Since the harmattan weather does not favour the breeding of mosquitoes, thus reducing the incidence of malaria.
Now the almighty shea butter or better still ‘Northern Cocoa’ has seen a great patronage as most women buy it for their babies and young ladies who are also running away from the dry skin resort to the use of shea butter, hence, increasing the demand.
In order to confirm this, Viasat1 News’ reporter Noah Nash, went out to sample the opinions of the people on how business is moving. The news team went to the Tamale Central Market where they met, Iddrisu Sana a shea butter seller. He said, ‘there has been a high demand for the product since the harmattan set in, we now make more profit as compared to the rainy season’.
Zinatu Ibrahim, also a shea butter trader, noted that ‘the sales have now improved because some buy for the skin and others use it to cook; we hope it continues’.
Interestingly, during the News team’s interaction with most shea butter sellers like Zinatu, they noted that shea butter has always been a body cream but expressed worry about the fake shea butter products on the market.