1009 GMT May 28, 2022
Director general of the Natural Resources and Watershed Management of Khuzestan called for the allocation of permanent water share to stabilize dust centers in the southwestern Iranian province.
Referring to the implementation of the dust control plan, Seyyed Mohammad Taqi Sajjadi told IRNA on Monday that, currently, about 35% of desertification programs have been implemented in the study plan of Khuzestan dust centers, most of which have been in southeast Ahvaz, due to its sensitivity.
He mentioned the water supply as one of the main challenges in accomplishing the plan, adding that one of the forthcoming crises for the implementation of dust control programs is the water supply required for planting projects.
This is a matter of concern due to the arrival of summer, Sajjadi added.
“The irrigation of the planted areas has been regular in the past two months despite the obstacles and high cost, and is currently being done according to the programs,” he said.
The drying out of rivers and wetlands in Khuzestan has changed the regional landscape, although most dust storms have originated outside the country.
Dust storms have increased dramatically in frequency in neighboring Iraq in recent years, driven by soil degradation and intense droughts made worse by climate change, with rising average temperatures and sharply lower rainfall.
The Meteorological Department on Friday warned of three dust waves in Khuzestan, from the sites of Iraq, the Iraq-Jordan-Saudi borders, and Syria, as well as internal sites of Khuzestan.
The last mass of dust entered Khuzestan on May 1, which led to the closure of offices, schools, and universities in the province on May 2.
IRNA reported on Monday that the air quality index of Khuzestan cities was in a healthy condition after a week of dust.
The fine dust particles can cause health problems such as asthma and cardiovascular ailments, and also spread bacteria and viruses as well as pesticides and other toxins.