Observer at the Meteorological Department of the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation, Dirar Al-Ali, said the dusty phenomena, especially in the spring and summer seasons, are a natural product of Kuwait’s geographical location and the desert climatic conditions surrounding the country.
Al-Ali in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) said Kuwait’s location in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula means its relative proximity to various sources of dust, including regional sources such as Iraq’s marshes, the Rafidain Plain, the Western Desert of Iraq, Badia Al-Sham, the Dahna desert and the formation of Al-Dibbeh, reports a local Arabic daily.
He explained there are local sources of dust that affect the country, including the desert islands of Warba, Boubyan and Khabari in the northwestern region, sand dunes in the (Al-Huwaymiyah) range, in addition to the opem spaces without vegetation, whether in urban and populated areas or open desert areas.
He mentioned the descriptive forms of dust storms are different. The Al-Dahna desert in Saudi Arabia is one of the sources of red dust in Kuwait. Dust storms often blow in two forms, the broad shape, which has a wide width greater than 200 km, and this indicates that the storm is caused by medium-speed winds that are sometimes active, and this type of forms is prevalent in the dust storms coming from the Western Desert in Iraq and the Mesopotamia Plain.
He pointed to the tapered longitudinal shape, which has an average width of less than 150 km, and indicates that the storm is caused by high-speed winds, and this pattern of shapes is prevalent in dust storms coming from the marshes and the extensions of Wadi Al-Batin.
He indicated that the abundance or lack of dusty days and their intensity depend from year to year on several factors, including the amount of annual rainfall and the subsequent formation of vegetation in desert areas, i.e. the drought factor plays a vital role in desertification as well as poor management of dams, which leads to a drop in river levels, which has a great impact on the drying up of lakes and marshes, which become sources of dust.
Al-Ali dealt with other factors, human activities that contribute a lot to desertification, such as overgrazing, uprooting trees or bushes and wild herbs, lack of afforestation and driving vehicles in the desert, which in turn destroy vegetation cover and destroy seeds and other activities carried out by humans that harm the surrounding environment, especially that the desert environment is fragile and greatly affected by human activities.
He stated that there is no way to reduce dust phenomena except through an integrated regional and local effort to combat desertification by increasing the vegetation cover, which contributes a lot to stabilizing the soil and preventing its volatility with the wind and planting green belts around the main sources of dust and expanding the establishment and care of nature reserves provided that they are scientifically studied and not affect the basic environment of the area.
He pointed to the important role of nature reserves in combating desertification, especially in the way the winds blow on cities, pointing to previous environmental studies carried out by the relevant state institutions, which demonstrated that the Sabah Al-Ahmad Reserve recorded the lowest rates in the quantities of rising dust compared to the unprotected desert areas adjacent to it.
Al-Ali explained that the studies also proved that the green belts reduced the amount of dust deposits by a large percentage by monitoring and comparing the amounts of dust falling in the dust traps, and that the amounts of falling dust decreased by half in the south of an area where farms are spread like the city of Jahra, compared to the amounts of dust in its north.