Muslims Observe Fast Amid Heatwave, High Cost Of Living, Power Outages

Muslims in various parts of Nigeria are observing this year’s Ramadan fasting in the midst of heatwave, high cost of living and power outages.

Despite these challenges, Muslims are obligated to fast every day from dawn to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan by abstaining from sex, food, drink and smoking. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Our correspondents report that Muslims who engage in hard labour in states like Kano, Adamawa, Borno, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have adopted different strategies to cope with the challenges brought by hot weather, high cost of living, and electricity blackouts.

In Kano, labourers and bricklayers among others at construction sites have adjusted their working hours as a result of the excessive heat in the state as they fast.

Speaking about the development, Kabiru Ahmad, a bricklayer at Hotoro area of Tarauni LGA, said, “When we have work now, we try to do it as early as 6am and complete it by 1pm.

“By that time, the heat is less and the sun is not yet at its hottest. It’s still not favourable but we have to do it because it’s our means of survival and taking care of our families. An average labourer is a family man.

“The second option is that we try as much as possible to relax after breaking our fast. We converge with lights and do it during late evening hours. That time is the most suitable moment because you can go on working and drinking water. And after that, you go and sleep.

“Just like I said, this is the tactics we implore to help ourselves.”

He added that though some labourers engaged in full-day activities but it was very rare, depending on the site supervisor.

Another bricklayer, Nasiru Hausawa, who engages three labourers including Ali Muhammad and Abdulmuttalib Rabiu, said they adopted ‘finish and go’ arrangement so that one can easily accomplish his task and go home.

He said because of the Ramadan fast which commenced yesterday, they begin work very early in the morning and stop by 2pm.

He, however, said that some labourers still work from 8am to 5pm.

Similarly, some residents lamented over the electricity outage that hit virtually all parts of the state.

Daily Trust reported that a transmission station covering a larger part of the metropolitan areas of the state was razed by a fire which resulted in two transformers brought down leaving one in operation.

This, among other issues, has plunged most residents into total darkness with significant negative effects on livelihoods.

Sumayya Sani of Mariri area said, “I don’t know what to do because I am supposed to get ice blocks or cold drinks from my fridge to break fast with my family today. With the outage of power, and I have to buy and I have no money budgeted for that.

“Secondly, you can’t preserve anything without electricity and the cost of everything is high.”

On her part, Maryam Musa said she quarrelled with her husband a day before due to hike in the prices of foodstuff.

“Yesterday, I went to the market to do some minor shopping for the fasting. Normally, I was used to buying many things within the range of N10,000 and even bringing back change but the case was different this time.

“My husband being considerate about the inflation of everything in the market this time around gave me N15,000 and I went into the market only to buy one-third of the items. It took a lot of convincing and quarrels to make him understand.

“Things are not easy at all. We are just managing but not enjoying the situation. Today, I wonder about the kind of breakfast many would have. I am telling you that this will be one of a kind.”


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