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© Reuters. Fishermen are pictured on their pirogue as mud carried by winds from the Sahara Desert shrouds Dakar

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DAKAR (Reuters) – A cloud of mud introduced by dry winds from the Sahara has settled over a lot of West and Central Africa, lowering visibility, choking residents, and disrupting fishing within the Senegal’s capital Dakar.

Annually, dry, dusty winds sweep in from the Sahara and canopy a lot of West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. The yearly phenomenon, generally known as the Harmattan season, runs from November by March.

“Those that have toddlers with poor well being like mine, who isn’t but one yr previous, can’t work correctly,” stated Khoudia Ndiaye, who sells fish at a market in Dakar. “Yesterday I could not work due to the mud, I needed to go residence.”

The hazy climate has blanketed Senegal’s capital because the begin of the week, coating the town with fantastic mud particles which have prompted well being and air high quality warnings from the surroundings ministry.

In a press release, the ministry urged folks to curb exterior sporting actions and prompt that youngsters, the aged and people affected by respiratory issues stay indoors. The significance of sporting face masks, which have turn into commonplace within the COVID-19 period, was strengthened.

Authorities in Cameroon this week additionally warned that an enormous plume of Saharan mud carried by Harmattan winds was anticipated to hit its three northern provinces, lowering visibility. It urged residents to not journey.

The mud cloud in Senegal diminished visibility to a couple dozen metres, resulting in a discount of fishing, an important supply of earnings for a lot of households, alongside Dakar’s shoreline.

At Soumbedioune, one of many metropolis’s essential fish markets, a couple of fishermen loiter across the shipyard. A barely seen purple flag flutters within the wind.

“You’ll be able to see the purple flag behind me signifies that it’s nonetheless harmful,” stated Moustapha Ndoye, the top of the fishmongers’ affiliation.

Some fishermen have been unable to fish for a number of days, he added.

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