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Radio Ndarason Internationale


Tough Ramadan as sweltering heat and scorching sun makes hard labour even harder

12 avril 2022
Temps de lecture : 6 minutes

Practising Muslims who do hard labour to earn their wages are taking strain this Ramadan because temperatures in Maiduguri are scorching, often hitting as much as 43°C.

Muslims are not allowed even a sip of water to drink – or anything else – during the daylight hours of the holy fasting month. Instead, it’s recommended that anyone fasting should drink as much water as possible in the early morning to ward off thirst during the day.

RNI reporter Nana Hadiza Mustapha spoke to some workers in the city and they all agreed that no food or drink for 14 hours a day during the hottest time of the year was extremely enervating, leaving them feeling drained of energy and vitality.

Builders, carpenters, marketeers and water sellers, popularly called “Mai Moya”, were among the workers who agreed that the sweltering heat made it hard to keep going because it deprived them of strength and vigor. “It just makes you feel weak,” said one of the workers.

Rawa Gana, who carries in and out heavy and light items that are taken to be sold at the Monday Market, said: “The only thing that helps is pouring water over my body a few times a day. It seems to be working because the blazing sun has not affected me too much. I thank the Almighty because at least I have work and I am getting more money because of the fasting month. Weirdly enough, my health, too, seems to have improved”.

A water seller, who gave his name only as Muhammad, said he spent the day pushing jerrycans of water around the city.

“It is hard work because full jerrycans weigh quite a lot. But at this time when it is so hot and people are fasting, my work can be fruitful because a lot of people use the water to cool themselves down. It’s the only thing they can do to beat the heat. This morning I ran out of water and had to make two trips. That brought in about ₦250. This afternoon I might make the same. But, what’s upsetting, is that although everyone is going through hardship, some people look down on me and others who do the same job. Some even refuse to pay us,” he said.

“I hardly ever rest. The only time I get to sit down is when I’m waiting in the queue for my time to fill my jerrycans. I am always in the blazing sun and the temperature is hard to bear. The only thing that helps is if I soak my clothes in water. That makes work a little easier but not for long.”

Abdullahi Isa, a carpenter, said: “I start working on this rooftop at 6am when it is already hot and the day just gets hotter and hotter. The economy is bad. People do not have money. I feel I am lucky to have a job to help me and my family survive. I work all day in the sun. But, like many people who do hard labour, I often pour water over my body in an effort to keep cool. But the harsh sun still disturbs me.”

Muhammad Shuwa, a doctor, told RNI reporter Aisha Jamal that people should try to avoid working in the day so that they were not constantly in the sun.

He said: “Ideally people should work early in the morning and later on the when the sun has set. Working under the scorching sun makes the body lose water. Those who carry out hard labour should ensure that once the sun has set they drink lots of water to replace that which was lost during the day.

But he warned people that when they were allowed to drink water when breaking the fast, they should drink warm water instead of cold, adding that drinking cold water directly could be harmful because there was a chance that the blood vessels might get clotted. If that happened blood flow in the body was reduced and it could be very harmful and could make people very ill.

He agreed that people should drink a lot of water between sunset and sunrise when they were allowed to break the fast. He said water was vitally important for the body and people should drink water frequently while they were allowed.

Emirates Woman gave seven tips for fasting during Ramadan:

Don’t skip meals:

Avoid skipping meals, especially the Suhoor meal. Eating slow carbs as you wake up will give you lasting energy throughout the day. If you don’t have a large appetite early in the morning, a glass of milk, a few nuts and dates are recommended. For those who eat heavier meals in the morning, oatmeal is ideal.

Drink at least two to three glasses of water before you begin fasting to avoid feeling dehydrated during the fasting hours.

Go slow when you break your fast:

A good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables should be included in your meals. But do not gulp down your food.

Load up on B complex vitamins:

Having a B complex vitamin has shown to keep energy levels up during fasting period.

Foods to be avoided:

Fasting can often increase gastric acidity levels in the stomach causing a burning feeling and heaviness in the stomach. This can be avoided by eating foods rich in fibre. Avoid fried foods, very spicy foods, salty foods and foods containing too much sugar, such as sweets, which can cause health problems like indigestion, heartburn and weight problems. Too much salty food makes your body retain water and gives you the feeling of being bloated and spicy foods induce thirst. Sweets and sugary foods are fast burning and will last only for three to four hours. These will turn into fat, increase cholesterol levels and make you gain weight.

What to drink:

Drinks with high caffeine content (coffee, tea, chocolate, cold drinks and even decaffeinated teas and coffees) should be avoided. Caffeine percolates calcium from your system, which makes you feel less full. Avoid drinking tea because it increases salt excretion in the urine. The ideal beverage is water. If you’re feeling more dehydrated than usual, try adding a slice of lime, strawberries or even mint to the water.

Workout (mildly):

Light physical activity is recommended and will keep your body supple and fit. During the summer, your body can mistake the lack of water for hunger and could cause you to ingest more than your body can handle. Ensure to drink plenty of water when breaking your fast.


As Ramadan fasting is basically an exercise in self-discipline, for those who are chain smokers, food nibblers or caffeine addicts it is a good opportunity to break the habit.

Ramadan is the time to practice self-restraint, a time to cleanse the body from impurities and refocus on oneself.


À propos de l’auteur

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.