Environmental and economic importance of native plants and green belts in controlling mobile sand and dust hazards

  • A. M. Al-DousariEmail author
  • M. Ahmed
  • N. Al-Dousari
  • S. Al-Awadhi
Original Paper


The prevailing and strong north-westerly wind in Kuwait during summer is consistently causing a significant movement of aeolian sediment that poses serious environmental and economic threats. The average removal costs per cubic metre for aeolian encroachments around desert infrastructures in Kuwait increased from USD 1.2 to USD 1.32, respectively, representing one of the highest expenses in the region in 1993 and 2013. Correspondingly, morphological properties of aeolian deposits around 15 dominant species of native plants were determined, after which, the cost saving per plant was calculated equivalent to the cubic metre removal cost. Nitraria retusa, Lycium shawii, Haloxylon salicornicum, and Calligonum polygonoides trapped the maximum mobile aeolian sediments up to 21.9, 15.5, 14.5, and 13.3 m3, respectively, which make them the most efficient solutions for present and future applications in controlling aeolian processes. Aeolian activities were monitored during the establishment stage of 110,000 of these effective native plants in the Liyah protected area and green belts of Moringa pterygosperma in the Kabd area. It was noted that native plants had a positive effect as they captured about 115 t of aeolian sediments, thus saving USD 151800 as estimated removal cost of these accumulations all around human settlements. Native plants and green belts have also contributed to the reduction in the annual rates of mobile sand by 94 and 95.3%, and dust by 64.5 and 68.4%, respectively.


Aeolian Economic threats Moringa Sand encroachment Kuwait 



The researchers would like to extend their gratitude to the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) for supporting this study (Grant Number: 2011/EC085C). Appreciation is extending to governmental authorities for providing the aeolian accumulations data and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research for the help in laboratory samples analysis.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Al-Dousari
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Ahmed
    • 1
  • N. Al-Dousari
    • 1
  • S. Al-Awadhi
    • 1
  1. 1.Crisis Decision Support Program, Environmental and Life Science Research CenterKuwait Institute for Scientific ResearchSafatKuwait

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