Sandstorms Hit Parts of West Africa

Sandstorms hit parts of West Africa
Sandstorms hit parts of West Africa

West Africa Sandstorms

Sandstorms are violent strong winds that often occur in the arid and semi-arid regions. West Africa sand storms often crop up and last for approximately 100 days in a year. They say these storms originate from Bodele depression in the southern part of Sahara Desert, in Central Chad. On average occasion, about 700,000 tonnes of dust are produced daily from the depression. The depression formed when lake Chad dried up. Furthermore, the surface of the depression consists of dried up diatoms which were once the lake’s algae.

Since sand storms are predominant in the arid regions, Mauritania and Senegal have also been shrouded in the thick canary wind storms. Meteorological agencies have stated that the current wind storms are exceptional. They are unlike the usually sand storms experienced in these regions between January and April. They attribute the uniqueness of these sand storms to them preventing visibility of about 300 to 400 meters.

Sandstorm results in various effects 

These storms are accompanied by various impacts despite their variation in duration. For instance, within different parts of Mauritania and Senegal, the storms have reduced visibility. Thousands of people have abandoned the streets. The number of commercial vendors has also reduced. Most of them have fled in search of safety. These sand winds result in the formation of small dunes. Hence, Sidi Ould Mohamed, director of the national office of meteorology warned the people to beware of the violent winds and abstain from the city’s main highway. This is because the dunes are obstructions to auto accidents because of the blinding effect.

The sand storms also result in infant mortality and other health conditions. For instance, breathing problems. While for children, upon exposure, they become more susceptible to other infections and since they have a weaker immune system; they succumb at high rates. Besides, they also degrade the top fertile soil reducing development. This is because when top fertile soils are swept away by the violent winds, agricultural productivity deteriorates. The violent sand storms are accompanied by a little positivity. For instance, the sandstorms are responsible for the deposition of diatoms in the Amazonian rain forest of South Africa. The storms deposit 50million tonnes annually hence responsible for the forest’s soil fertility. In Mauritania and Senegal, the storms lead to the formation of nuclear beautiful orange skies that provides striking scenery in the evenings.

Possible mitigation measures

The need to conduct early investigations and predictions is of the essence. As it will enable early preparations, in turn, limiting exposure to dangers of sand. Moreover, destroyed agricultural land can be rehabilitated through soil conservation practices. As a result, erosion will be controlled. Since most countries depend on agriculture as the backbone of their economy. Countries should also conduct investigations on what causes the sand storms. Such that in the case of biological agents’ precautions are taken.

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