Port Harcourt first rain brings cheers, drama, some pains too

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By Kelechi Esogwa

Just one rain and the usual drama full of praises and omplaints has started. Thursday afternoon, residents of Port Harcourt went into happy mood as they witnessed the first rainfall in the city since December 2019.

Our Correspondent reported that a lot of drama accompanied the sudden rain that took the residents by surprise, especially in such busy areas of the city as Ikwerre Road, Mile 1, Diobu.

At the famous Education Bus Stop, Mile 1, one middle-aged woman almost lost her items to the rain as she was running to take cover under the yellow-painted four-storey building adjacent to the Conoil Filling Station.

In the process of speeding away from the rain, her small nylon load tore and four plastic bottles of what looked like Kunu, a popular local drink in Nigeria and some fresh pepper, fell down and rolled on the ground.

Moved by pity, a good-spirited lanky man, despite his white dress, rushed out of his own hiding corner under the same building, defied the rain and picked two of the bottles for the woman, all in a speed of lightning.

At the Iloabuchi Park, Mile 1, the drama continued as the rain kept pouring in. Passengers, as soon as they alighted from the taxes, ran either to the nearby Conoil Filling Station or the adjacent Education Building for cover.

Given the speed of these passengers as they raced to take cover, some of them could beat America’s Ben Johnson could they be paired for an Olympic 100 metres race.

In his haste to take cover, one pot-bellied man, dressed in a worn-out black suit, almost hit a rushing bus as he was running without caution, shoving everyone who mistakenly blocked his way. As he ran, his Makossa-dancing pot belly completed the drama, sending people into a rib-cracking laughter spree.

Although long expected, the rain, as usual, is generating mixed reactions from Port Harcourt residents.

For a lady simply named Nkechi, a computer operator at a cyber café in Mile 1, Diobu, the rain could not have come at a better time given the scorching heat that has raised a lot of concerns in many quarters.

She thanked God for sending the rain to cool the weather. Nkechi added: “Now we can sleep well, thank God. Since this year we have been expecting this rain and the heat keeps increasing and we don’t know what to do. My sister’s baby is even having heat rashes all over his body because of the heat. If not for this work I’m doing now, I would have gone out so that this rain can touch me and cool my body small.”

But one named James, a handset repairer, described the rain as a good thing happening at a wrong time.

He said: “I like the rain but it is spoiling my business. I stay at the other side of the road but as this rain started now, two people who wanted to repair their phones ran away. Me (I)too ran away to this place to avoid the rain. It’s not that I don’t like the rain, but it should have fallen at night when we can use it to sleep. One thing is that it will reduce the heat this night and I’m happy about that.”

Meanwhile some parts of Mile 1, Diobu, is now flooded as a result of the rain falling in Port Harcourt. Motorists could be seen in slow drive already.

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