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Friday, May 24, 2024

Vegetation in Makkah increased by 600% in last 5 months

In the last five months, several videos and images of Makkah city flooded with rainwater have emerged on social media.

Vegetation in the Makkah region grew by 600% in the last five months following the frequent spells of rain in the region, says Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Vegetation Development and Combating Desertification.

Some regions collected more than 200 millimeters of rain. Examinations of remote-sensing information showed that in August 2023, the overall vegetation cover measured 3,529.4 square kilometers, constituting 2.3 percent of the entire region’s land area. This coverage progressively expanded due to rainfall, reaching 26,256 square kilometers by the year’s end.

Nearly 17% of the area was under vegetation by December 2023. The vegetation was primarily concentrated in elevated regions alongside the Red Sea coast, specifically in mountainous areas and highlands characterized by elevations from 500 to 2,600 meters. These areas include Makkah, Taif, Al-Laith, Al-Jammoum, Al-Kamil, and Khalis governorates.

In the last five months, several videos and images of Makkah city flooded with rainwater have emerged on social media.

Read more: Saudi Arabia calls for restraint amid Red Sea tensions

The center has announced its ongoing examination of the condition of these vegetated areas. This involves closely observing alterations in afforestation project locations, keeping track of modifications in land cover, measuring rainfall amounts and vegetation density, and evaluating the well-being of plants. These assessments utilize remote-sensing methods and artificial intelligence technology, aiming to contribute to the success of afforestation projects and the broader objectives of the Saudi Green Initiative.

The center is tasked to protect and harness the vegetation sites in the Kingdom. It explores variables that affect green spaces and prepares for and mitigates conditions of drought.

This initiative is part of the National Transformation Project to help achieve the goals of Vision 2030 for development and diversification in Saudi Arabia. It functions within the context of nationwide initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of desertification and drought, as well as protecting and preserving land, pastures, forests, and national parks.