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Camping season delayed due to effects of stormy weather

KUWAIT: The Municipality yesterday announced the postponement of the start of the camping season until further notice from the civil defense committee, which includes several government bodies including the interior ministry, the defense ministry and the municipality. The committee revised an earlier decision to officially launch the season today. It was cancelled due to the rainy weather conditions that led to the erosion of the soil at some campsites, the municipality said in a press release. The emergence of military remnants was one of the main reasons for the delay, in addition to the gathering of water and the collapse of some roads leading to the camping sites.


Local authorities provide a variety of facilities to ensure the success of the camping season, which extends to about four months, including large areas for citizens to set up camps, in addition to establishing public services including security checkpoints and service areas close to the campsites.


This year, the municipality has identified 18 sites with an area of 616 sq km in the north, west and south of the country; therefore, campers can apply for a camping license through the municipality’s website and pay the fees and insurance. The applicant will be able to inspect the land prior to its request to ascertain its suitability for camping, especially after the heavy rains in the country.


The applicant will be allowed to submit an application for a maximum area of 1,000 sq m and will be required to pay a nonrefundable municipal fee of KD 50. It is prohibited to burn foliage, damage natural life, construct fences, excavate the land, hunt, kill or destroy shelters of species, and graze livestock in camping areas.


Meanwhile, two environmental experts have attributed the weather fluctuations and the heavy rains in Kuwait in recent days to changes in climate observed and recorded in different countries of the world during the past years. Secretary-General of the Kuwait Society for the Protection of the Environment Janan Behzad said in a press statement yesterday that there is a need to study the fluctuations in rainfall to learn about damage caused to urban areas, as an experiment showed a lot of gaps resulting from a lack of integration of applied science with the engineering of building cities and streets, and a lack of awareness of climate changes and spatial distribution of rain in the country.


Behzad added that the history of rainfall is comprehensive and detailed and includes measurements of rainwater collection. Therefore, new climatic characteristics and modeling of the future can be described and analyzed through predictions based on recent events of variation in precipitation. This will measure the sensitivity of the country to receiving rainfall with temperature fluctuations and the natural El Nino phenomenon of the seas, oceans and live species to better understand the weather events responsible for climate formation in the region.


She said that research in Kuwait has provided many studies of spatial and seasonal variables and annual rainfall in the country, which lasts from winter to spring – November to April – and known as the Sarrayat season. The annual amount of rainfall in the country is estimated at 110-190 mm per year. The weather is dry most of the year. Rainfall is limited and varies throughout Kuwait, she added.


Behzad pointed out that the minimum amount of rain Kuwait received in the past was 30 mm in 1960 and the maximum recorded was 300 mm in 1954 and 1872 (Rajabia). In 1934, Kuwait was lashed by the so-called ‘Haddama’ (destructive) rains that affected more than 18,000 people, noting that heavy rainfall was repeated in 1997 when more than 65 mm was recorded in a short time. She said rainwater is collected in residential areas by advanced rainwater drainage systems and directly discharged in the Arabian Gulf.


Head of the Department of Climate Monitoring Change at the Environment Public Authority (EPA) Sherif Al-Khayyat said research studies have shown that there is close correlation between global warming in the atmosphere and what is causing a change in the global climate with the change in patterns and quantities of rainfall in most of the world.


Khayyat added that changes in the atmosphere have become increasingly rapid because of the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases, which has affected and will affect in the future the most important characteristics of the water cycle in the atmosphere, including the evaporation and condensation rate of the sea and ocean waters and the paths of clouds and the impact of high and low pressures, sometimes causing heavy rains in some areas and droughts elsewhere. Kuwait is not immune to these changes. “What we are witnessing today in unprecedented temperature rise, change in seasons and the intensity and frequency of dust storms and extreme rainfall are definitive evidence of serious changes in the atmosphere,” he said. – KUNA


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