Friday, 6 July 2012

Cloudy days and no rain

For the past few weeks we have had some very cloudy days.....cloudy days? what am I saying, we have been having lots of hazy days..tons of hazy days.
Yes, I know you are thinking how can haze be present in Barbados, the sunshine island of the Caribbean.........doubt me?
Here's the evidence:

For an aging asthmatic like myself, this is not good for my health at all.
This haze is actually immense dust clouds emerging from the coast of Africa (Sahara Desert to be precise), and carried across the Atlantic Ocean by the Trade Winds. 
We are 3,000 miles west of Africa, and we can't hide since we are the first land mass that the dust encounters (we are the most easterly island in the Caribbean chain of islands.)
Locally referred to as "The Sahara Dust", health officials don't seem too concerned about the higher hospital admissions and doctors visits during this period.
Huge quantities of this mineral dust converge on the island every year, and consumes our atmosphere covering everything in its path for weeks and weeks.
Still doubt me?  Lookee here......

Look at the hood of my vehicle "Beast"

This presence of high concentrations of  mineral dust for such long periods of time raises concerns about the impact on human health, since the dust readily penetrates the respiratory system and when deposited in the lungs leads to aggravated asthma (I can vouch for this), severe respiratory symptoms and chronic bronchitis.
Yet those in authority have found it convenient to believe the studies that have been carried out that conclude there is no correlation between the dust and the increased respiratory ailments of the population.
Let's hope that we get some rain soon.  We need would give us a brief respite from this awful haze that has enveloped the island.


  1. Hi Virginia. I've been on the move so am just catching up. I had no idea that your Island suffered from this problem. It makes me wonder how there is any sand left in the Sahara because the UK was also covered in Saharan sand a while ago. Mind you it doesn't happen every year. "Beast" is not, I assume, a small vehicle! Or are you being ironic?

  2. GB we have this menace Sahara Dust every year, and it seems to get worse and worse every year. We also have The Sargasso Sea seaweed that has just started washing up on our shores as well, but at least we are using this as a plant fertilizer.
    Beast has been with me for over 15 years, and has never let me down on the road once. It's a Suzuki Vitara old model.


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