The Colbert Factor 20/9/18
Dust to Dawn Curfew:
Governor Lele L’Afrique Pokes Finger into the Face of Every Clock in the Region
This reflection is inspired by the fact that unlike in the summer and winter solstice where an hour of sunlight is either gained or lost in the evening, last September 9.2018, guvernoturial act decreeing a dust to dawn curfew sprung back clocks in the Northwest by three long hours from the previous 9PM curfew in the evenings and by one hour in the mornings, from the previous 5AM .
It is the more informed by the fact that the further poking of his finger into the face of every clock in the Northwest Region after a more than one year long 9PM to 5A.M curfew, Governor Adolf Lele L’Afrique has not not only gone a long way to destabilize or change the body clocks of every inhabitant in the Region, but has also contributed greatly to creating sleeping disorders and other health hazard in people.
It is also inspired by the fact that although the new dust to dawn curfew may further contribute in putting a final nail to the already battered economy of the Region, it has the advantage of saving energy for future use as the lockup of the city saves energy and reduces environmental and noise pollution.
Without any intention of challenging the decreeing of curfews as a security strategy in modern times, I make bold to state that such a strategy smarks of panic than advised. It also seems a copycat of the secessionists who decree ghost towns and restricts movements. There is no evidence to proof that the security of persons and property has improved in the Region since the introduction of curfews.
Interestingly, the decreeing of the change of clock time from the previous 9PM to 6AM seem to give freedom fighters an opportunity to act given that their excuse for not engaging in the cities was how to minimize civilian casualties. With the curfew driving home inhabitants in broad daylight, armed groups can own the town. Let’s leave that for another day and come back to the issue of clock change.
The new clock change in Bamenda is detrimental to business, homes, health, education, and agriculture. Businesses that used to benefit from the three hours evening rush can no longer survive. Farmers that used to set sail for the fields from 5AM can no longer do so. School starts time is adjusted as students can no longer set out for school early. Because the whole city is shutdown by 6PM, a lot of energy would obviously be conserved as businesses are closed. The consequences is that the electricity corporation would register significant losses.
Conversely, energy consumption at home would increase drastically as lights and appliances like TVs and stereos would continuously be in use. When people stay out longer, lights and home appliances are not on. Returning home at 6PM and not able to leave in the morning until 6PM means light and appliances must be on. Because people in the Region are now exposed to less sunlight, they turn to use more energy at home. The curfew means an hour less in the morning for farmers to milk their cows or get harvested crops to the market.
Perhaps, the advantage with Lele L’Afrique’s dust to dawn curfew in the Northwest as it resets the clocks is that people get up consistently with sunrise and go to bed consistently with sunset at 6PM. Why not note that the 6PM to 6AM curfew brings people in the Anglophone part of the country back to ‘God’s own time’ and takes them away from the unregulated francophone lifestyle where merriment time is endless.
Despite the advantages of returning home this early, the danger is that it could jolt the body’s internal body clock, causing a higher risk of sleep disorder, heart attacks, strokes, and many miscarriages. Certain changes in circadian rhythms can affect fertility as well. Fatigue, decreased productivity and even cluster headaches would also be more common.
While the curfew has pushed back agency travel time in the night to 3PM with arrival time in Yaounde and Douala at the risky hours of 2AM, peak evening consumption of alcohol has dropped by over 25%. However, pedestrian fatalities from cars caused by morning and evening rush hours, is on the increase.
Measured in terms of the longitudinal meridian, the 6PM to 6AM dust to dawn curfew set by the North West Governor, as compared to time across the national territory, could be referred to as ‘Local Mean Time, LMT. Apart from what obtains in the North West today, Germany seems to have been the first country to have taken up the practice of regulating the time when people go to bed and when they stepped out in the morning. That was in an effort to save energy or fuel during World War I. Governor Lele L’Afrique’s dust to dawn curfew could be compared to the 1966 U. S Congress Uniform Time Act.
Clock change is not a new phenomenon. For millennia, people have measured time based on the position of the sun. When the sun was overhead, it was considered noon. Only during the Middle Ages did mechanical clocks like the one Governor Lele L’Afrique is regulating in every home in the Northwest, began to appear. During that time, cities would set their time clocks by measuring the position of the sun.
By resetting longitudinal meridian time in the Northwest, is the Governor not signaling that Cameroon has two time zones?
The Muteff Boy’s Take