Dust is one of the atmospheric and climatic disasters whose occurrence causes environmental damages, respiratory and heart diseases, land and air traffic, tourist and agricultural problems, etc. Considering the great damages of this phenomenon and the possibility of an increase in its occurrence in the coming years, the attention of the government and the implementation of appropriate solutions are essential in this regard. It is obvious that, before implementing the operational plans, the appropriate ways of dealing with this phenomenon can be found by having sufficient information and knowledge about it and the way and causes of its occurrence. To this end, it is essential to use the experiences and findings of other countries in this field in order to take a substantial step in this way by applying the right and principled methods. Some of the most important objectives of this research are to identify the factors affecting the dust phenomenon in Khuzestan province, to identify the methods of preventing the effects of dust in Khuzestan province, to use the AHP model for ranking the methods of preventing the effects of dust using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in the study area.
Materials & Methods
The methodology of this research is analytical-descriptive, and the research is of applied type. In this research, the meteorological statistics of 12 meteorological synoptic stations of Khuzestan province were used during the period 0f 2001-2014 and, the map of the dispersion of dust storms in Khuzestan province was prepared. Considering the experts’ opinions, the major criteria which include the criteria of individual factors, extraterritorial factors and State factors were determined and then, the sub-criteria were determined for each criterion. After determining the criteria, the hierarchical graph of the criteria was created. Then, the criteria were compared with each other in the pairwise comparison matrices and the weight of each criterion relative to another one was assigned to that criterion in terms of the priority value. After the completion of the paired comparison matrices, the tree of criteria was created in EC2000 software, then, the applied scores were entered into the EC2000 software and the relative weight of each criterion resulted from the sum of the product of the significance of criteria and sub-criteria was obtained. The analysis of the inconsistency rate value is performed by EC2000 software during the pairwise comparison for each set.
Discussion & Results
Based on the yearly frequency of the occurrence of days with dust phenomenon during the 13 year statistical period (2001-2014), a total of 592.7 dusty days has been reported for the province of Khuzestan at the meteorological stations under study. The study of the data of all stations indicated that the highest frequency of dusty days was related to the Omidieh station with 125 days, then Dezful with 84.8 days and the lowest frequency was related to the Behbahan station with 22 days. The criteria studied in the dust phenomenon and the ranking of the methods for preventing its effects in Khuzestan, are diverse and complicated. Effective criteria in the ranking of the methods for preventing the effects of dust phenomenon are individual factors, extraterritorial factors and State factors that, each one of the main criteria has sub-criteria. In order to rank the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon in Khuzestan province, observing the hygiene of houses and residential areas, keeping to personal hygiene (using masks and washing the mouth and nose), forming joint regional working groups (countries affected by dust), utilizing international facilities, adhering to regional and international commitments, Soil conservation programs, conservation and revival of wetlands and water resources, mulching, constructing windbreaks, sprinkling pebble, growing vegetation, providing medical equipment and informing people about the dangers of dust were selected, and using the Analytical Hierarchy Process ( AHP) model and Expert Choice software were evaluated.
The results of the calculations obtained from the application of Expert Choice software show that among the criteria studied, the State factors are the most influential index in ranking the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon in Khuzestan, among other criteria. Considering the analysis of the sensitivity based on efficiency, the State factors criterion is more important than other criteria. In the analysis of sensitivity, individual factors, extraterritorial factors and State factors account for 29.7%, 16.3% and 54% of the total weight, respectively. Among the sub-criteria of individual factors, personal hygiene (using masks and washing the mouth and nose) with a weight of 0.750, accounts for the highest weight in ranking the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon. Observing hygiene in houses and residential areas is at the next priority with a weight of 0.250. Among the sub-criteria of the extraterritorial factors, the formation of regional joint working groups of regional (countries affected by dust) with a weight of 0.540, adherence to the regional obligations has the highest role in the ranking of the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon. The international sub-criterion with a weight of 0.297 and utilizing international facilities within the weight range of 0.163, have the subsequent priorities in the ranking of the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon. Among the sub-criteria of the State factors, informing people about the dangers of dust with the weight of 0.263, soil conservation programs within the weight range of 0.155, providing medical equipment with the weight of 0.147, Conservation and revival of wetlands and water resources with the weight of 0.127 and creation of vegetation with the weight of 0.124 have the highest role in the methods of preventing the effects of dust phenomenon, respectively.