Strong dust winds of more than 20m/s is what characterised parts of Kenya and Tanzania as from October 1st 2019. This is expected to be the future occurrence for the next 5 days experts have warned. The effects were magnanimous with billboards been torn down and airports such as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport been closed temporarily due to dust that had covered the runway and atmosphere.
Kenya and Tanzania must issue a ‘Blue’ sandstorm warning to its affected citizens. This is the lowest warning when it comes to countries experiencing sandstorms alert systems. The citizens are to be advised to close doors and windows, wear scarves and dust masks and drive slowly due to poor visibility. The alert should remain in place until the lapse of the 5 days. This dust storms are feared to cause various respiratory and eye diseases from the dust which is easily inhaled.
Kenya and Tanzania should aim at planting millions of trees along the paths of the sand storms so as to block out the sandstorm’s occurrence in the future. These measures have proved to work in favor of China which has been experiencing sand storms as a result of its close proximity to the Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.
The effects of climate change are taking effect, and if we don’t stop the deforestation and encroachment of our forested lands, then we should brace ourselves for worse. Some of this dust storms are feared to have originated from the semi-arid and arid (ASALs) of Kenya that is Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Laikipia, Embu and Taita Taveta. Afforestation and reforestation programs need to be started in this ASALs areas so as to stop the spread of deserts and its ripple effects such as dust storms in the future.